Date of this Version
A dissertation presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College at the University of Nebraska in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Major: Biological Sciences. Under the supervision of Professor Scott L. Gardner, Lincoln, Nebraska, May 2009.
My dissertation research is an important contribution to the taxonomy of anoplocephalid cestodes. Almost all research conducted for these chapters was done by staining, mounting, and measuring anoplocephalid cestodes from the Bolivian Biodiversity Survey conducted in Bolivia from 1984-2000. These specimens were collected and processed in the field and deposited in the Harold W. Manter Laboratory of Parasitology. I was particularly interested in species of the genus Monoecocestus Beddard, 1914 that parasitize caviid and sigmodontine rodents. In all instances, the material studied has lead to the description of new species or the redescription of existing species of Monoecocestus. In one instance, I was able to resurrect the genus Lentiella Rego, 1964 based on specimens representing a new species of that genus. In general, the research is indicative of the lack of proper representation of species by quality voucher specimens, i.e. the few specimens available from a geographically small region (Bolivia) in South America has increased the known species in the genus Monoecocestus by 40%. The research results presented in these chapters should be convincing evidence that the increased sampling effort for tapeworms and other parasites of caviid and sigmodontine rodents throughout South America would yield a truly massive number of previously unknown species. Also included in this dissertation are appendices of works that I have completed in my time at the University of Nebraska.