Pearsonellum lemusi n. sp. (Digenea: Aporocotylidae) infects the blood vascular system of the gag grouper, Mycteroperca microlepis (Perciformes: Serranidae), in the north central Gulf of Mexico, approximately 80 km south of Dauphin Island, Alabama (29°34′09″N, 88°22′16″W). The new species can be most easily differentiated from its only congeners Pearsonellum corventum Overstreet and Køie, 1989 (type species) and Pearsonellum pygmaeus Nolan and Cribb, 2004, both of which infect Australian serranids, by the combination of having a large adult body (3,237 × 570 µm), a cecal intersection comprising an elongated medial channel, anterior ceca >10% of total body length, ovary narrower than testis, and pre-ovarian uterus not looping between testis and ovary. The embryonated eggs of the new species infect gill epithelium, are spheroid, and measure 25–30 µm in diameter. Sympatric Gulf of Mexico serranids were negative for aporocotylid infections: coney, Cephalopholis fulva (n = 1); Nassau grouper, Epinephelus striatus (3); red grouper, Epinephelus morio (32); yellowedge grouper, Epinephelus flavolimbatus (1); rock hind, Epinephelus adscensionis (1); red hind, Epinephelus guttatus (2); Warsaw grouper, Epinephelus nigritus (3); graysby, Cephalopholis cruentata (1); black grouper, Mycteroperca bonaci (1), and tattler, Serranus phoebe (2). The new species is the first aporocotylid described from a serranid outside of the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The diagnosis of Pearsonellum Overstreet and Køie, 1989 is herein emended to include anterior sucker having concentric rows of spines anterior to mouth, pharynx absent, esophagus length <1/2 total body length, vas deferens connecting with cirrus sac anteromedially, ovary occupying posterior 1/4–1/3 of body, primary vitelline duct dextral, and oviducal seminal receptacle extending posteriad in parallel with lateral body margin, not transverse nor constricted anteriorly or posteriorly by sharp bends or kinks.
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Vol. 98 • No. 2