Date of this Version
Syst Parasitol (2017) 94: pp. 35–49, DOI 10.1007/s11230-016-9686-0.
Members of the genus Clinostomum Leidy, 1856, colloquially known as yellow grubs, are cosmopolitan parasites of piscivorous birds, freshwater snails, fish and amphibians. In the southeastern United States, piscivorous birds present a continuous challenge for producers of farm-raised catfish. Ciconiiform birds are common hosts of Clinostomum spp. in North America and are endemic on most commercial catfish operations. The great egret Ardea alba L. is an avian predator often found foraging on commercial catfish operations, but to date the trematode fauna of great egrets preying on catfish ponds remains mostly understudied. Thirteen great egrets were captured from commercial catfish ponds in northeast Mississippi, and examined for trematode infections. Two morphologically distinct Clinostomum spp. were observed in the great egrets sampled, one morphologically consistent with Clinostomum marginatum (Rudolphi, 1819) and one morphologically unique species. These morphological descriptions were supplemented with molecular sequence data (c.4,800 bp of ribosomal DNA and c.600 bp of mitochondrial DNA). Gene sequences confirmed the identification of C. marginatum. However, the second species differed significantly from its congeners in both morphology and DNA sequence. Given these distinct morphological and molecular characters we propose this second species as Clinostomum album n. sp.