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On the Status of the Eastern Pacific Cymothoid Fish Parasite Braga occidentalis Boone, and Its Synonymy with B. patagonica Schioedte and Meinert (Crustacea: Isopoda: Cymothoidae)





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Amid the various collections examined by the naturalist Pearl Lee Boone in her lifetime, is a single specimen of cymothoid isopod she chose to name Braga occidentalis. The specimen was allegedly collected from an unspecified locality "off the west coast of California" by James D. Dana and John L. Le Conte in 1866 (Boone 1918). This species has not been reported since and its validity has been seriously questioned by Lemos de Castro (1959), who suggested the possibility that it is in reality a synonym of Braga patagonica Schioedte and Meinert, 1884, a South American freshwater species. Lemos de Castro apparently did not examine the type of B. occidentalis. Our examination of this type specimen (deposited as a holotype in the Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, YPM No. 302) has confirmed Lemos de Castro's suspicions and we herein synonymize Braga occidentalis Boone, 1918 with B. patagonica.