Structure, Biodiversity, and Historical Biogeography of Nematode Faunas in Holarctic Ruminants: Morphological and Molecular Diagnoses for Teladorsagia boreoarticus n. sp. (Nemadota: Ostertagiinae), Dimorphic Cryptic Species in Muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus)
Date of this Version
Discovery of the ostertagiine nematode Teladorsagia boreoarcticus n. sp. in muskoxen, Ovibos moschatus, from the central Canadian Arctic highlights the paucity of knowledge about the genealogical and numerical diversity of nematode faunas characteristic of artiodactyls at high latitudes across the Holarctic. Teladorsagia boreoarcticus is a dimorphic cryptic species distinguished from Teladorsagia circumcincta/Teladorsagia trifurcata in domestic sheep by a 13% divergence in the ND4 region of mitochondrial DNA, constant differences in the synlophe, and significantly longer esophageal valve, spicules, gubernaculum, and bursa. Teladorsagia boreoarcticus represents an archaic component of the North American fauna and may have a Holarctic distribution in muskoxen and caribou. Recognition of T. boreoarcticus in muskoxen, in part, corroborates hypotheses for the existence of a cryptic species complex of Teladorsagia spp. among Caprinae and Cervidae at high latitudes and indicates the importance of climatological determinants during the late Tertiary and Pleistocene on diversification of the fauna. Also reinforced is the concept of the North American fauna as a mosaic of endemic and introduced species. Discovery of a previously unrecognized species of Teladorsagia has additional implications and clearly indicates that (1) our knowledge is incomplete relative to potentially pathogenic nematodes that could be exchanged among domestic and wild caprines; (2) we do not have sufficient knowledge of the fauna to understand the ecological control mechanisms (limitations) on dissemination and host range; and (3) an understanding of historical and geographical influences on the genealogical diversity and distribution of nematode faunas in domestic and wild ruminants is requisite to define the interface between agricultural and natural ecosystems across the Holarctic.