Gnathiid larvae (Crustacea; Isopoda; Gnathiidae) infesting elasmobranch and holocephalan fishes from mainly bathyal depths off Suruga Bay, off Kume-jima Island, and five sites from off Tokyo Bay to Shimoda City, Japan were examined. A total of 1460 gnathiid larvae were sampled from 87 host individuals belonging to seven families and 10 species. The morphology of these larvae was distinguishable from other gnathiid species by the head appendages. These larvae presented two pigmentation patterns, stripes or spots, on their dorsal thoraxes in live specimens. Furthermore, they were determined as the second and third stage praniza larvae on the basis of allometric variance of maximum head and abdomen widths. A third stage praniza with stripe pigmentation metamorphosed into an adult male and could be identified as a new species of the genus Thaumastognathia Monod, 1926. The duration between detachment from the host and metamorphosis into male adult required 204 days. This paper describes Thaumastognathia bicorniger sp. nov. on the basis of P3/stripe larvae and the male adult. This report is the first record of the larva and host information for a species of Thaumastognathia.
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Vol. 39 • No. 1