Date of this Version
Systematic Parasitology 93:3 (2016), pp. 271–282.
We provide a summary overview of the diversity of trematode parasites in freshwater fishes of the “New World,” i.e. the Americas, with emphasis on adult forms. The trematode fauna of three regions, South America, Middle America, and USA and Canada (North America north of Mexico), are considered separately. In total, 462 trematode species have been reported as adults from the Americas. The proportion of host species examined for parasites varies widely across the Americas, from a high of 45% in the Mexican region of Middle America to less than 5% in South America. North and South America share no adult species, and one exclusively freshwater genus, Creptotrema Travassos, Artigas & Pereira, 1928 in the Allocreadiidae Looss, 1902 is the most widely distributed. Metacercariae of strigeiforms maturing in fish-eating birds (e.g., species of the Diplostomidae Poirier, 1886) are common and widely distributed. The review also highlights the paucity of known life-cycles. The foreseeable future of diversity studies belongs to integrative approaches and the application of molecular ecological methods. While opportunistic sampling will remain important in describing and cataloguing the trematode fauna, a better understanding of trematode diversity and biology will also depend on strategic sampling throughout the Americas.