Parasitology, Harold W. Manter Laboratory of


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Published in the Journal of Parasitology (December 2001) 87(6): 1,423-1,427. Copyright 2001, the American Society of Parasitologists. Used by permission.


An undescribed species of Haematoloechus inhabits the lungs of Rana vaillanti in northwestern Costa Rica. The new species is most similar morphologically to H. medioplexus, having a very small, but well-developed, ventral sucker and lacking extracecal uterine loops, and apparently was misidentified previously as H. medioplexus in Rana palmipes from Colombia. It differs from H. medioplexus, notably by (1) the shape of the oral sucker, which is elliptical in H. meridionalis and spherical in H. medioplexus; (2) the posterior extent of the vitelline fields, which terminate at the same level in H. medioplexus, but always at different levels in H. meridionalis; (3) the position of the testes, which are immediately posterior to the seminal receptacle and are close together in the new species and far from the seminal receptacle and separated from each other in H. medioplexus; and (4) the location of the genital pore, which is ventral to the cecal bifurcation in the new species and ventral to the pharynx in H. medioplexus. In addition, the new species is unique among members of Haematoloechus by having flaps of tissue on the interior margins of the ventral sucker. The new species shows almost 5% sequence divergence from H. medioplexus in the variable Dl region of the 28s rDNA, complementing the morphological differences.

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