Parasitology, Harold W. Manter Laboratory of


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Published in the Journal of Parasitology (June 1999) 85(3): 534-539. Copyright 1999, the American Society of Parasitologists. Used by permission.


A new species of tetraphyllidean eucestode inhabiting Urobatis tumbesensis from inshore waters of southeastern Ecuador shares 3 synapomorphies with Rhinebothroides spp.: apical bothridial suckers poorly differentiated from the marginal loculi, internal seminal vesicles, and insertion of the vas deferens dorsally closer to the poral than the aporal end of the cirrus sac. The new species differs from Rhinebothroides spp. by lacking medial bothridial septa and loculi and having symmetrical ovarian arms, and possesses an apparent autapomorphic trait by having the vas deferens tapering to a narrow tube before entering the cirrus sac, extending posteriorly to the posterior end of the cirrus sac where it expands into an external seminal vesicle running ventral to the cirrus sac anteriorly to anterior to the vagina. In Rhinebothroides spp., the vas deferens is expanded into an external seminal vesicle near the insertion into the cirrus sac. As the sister group of Rhinebothroides, we propose a new genus to accommodate the new species. Phylogenetic evaluation of phyllobothriids recently assigned to Anthocephalum shows that they represent a paraphyletic assemblage of species of varying degrees of relatedness to Rhinebothroides spp. and the new species. Uncovering the relationships of the new species and the various species assigned to Anthocephalum permitted reevaluation of character transformations used in previous phylogenetic analysis of Rhinebothroides. Transformation series for 3 characters, previously based on functional outgroup comparisons, changed and a new character, length of cirrus sac, was added. The new phylogenetic analysis differs from the previous hypothesis only in placing R. scorzai as the sister species of R. circularisi + R. venezuelae + R. moralarai rather than of R. freitasi + R. glandularis + R. mclennanae. The occurrence of the sister species of Rhinebothroides in a Pacific Ocean stingray adds additional support to the hypothesis of Pacific origins of South American freshwater stingrays.

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