A new, monotypic genus of the interstitial marine cyclopoid copepod family Cyclopinidae G.O. Sars, 1913 is described from male and female specimens collected at Laguna de Términos, a large coastal lagoon system in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Mexiclopina campechana gen. et sp. n. cannot be adequately placed in any extant genus within the family. It differs from other cyclopinid genera in having a unique combination of characters including: 1) absence of modified brush-like seta on the mandibular exopod; 2) maxillule exopod with stout setal elements and brush-like setae absent; 3) basis of mandible with one seta; 4) presence of a modified seta on endopod of fourth leg; 5) fifth leg exopod unsegmented, armed with three elements in the female and five in the male; 6) intercoxal sclerite of first swimming leg with two medial spiniform processes on distal margin. The new genus is monotypic and appears to be most closely related to Cyclopina Claus, 1863 and Heptnerina Ivanenko & Defaye, 2004; the new species was compared with species of Cyclopina and it resembles Cyclopina americana Herbst, 1982 and Cyclopina caissara Lotufo, 1994. This is the second record of a species of Cyclopinidae in Mexico and the first in the Gulf of Mexico; the number of cyclopinid species recorded from the Americas is now 13.
Keywords: Free-living copepods; coastal zooplankton; interstitial copepods; taxonomy.