Date of this Version
Systematic Parasitology 63:2 (February 2006), pp. 143–154.
Selachohemecus benzi Bullard & Overstreet n. sp. infects the heart and kidney of the blacktip shark Carcharhinus limbatus in the northern Gulf of Mexico off Florida and Mississippi, USA. Specimens of S. olsoni Short, 1954, the only congener and only other named blood fluke reported from a chondrichthyan in the Gulf of Mexico, were collected from the heart of the Atlantic sharpnose shark Rhizoprionodon terraenovae from two new localities, Apalachicola Bay, Florida, and Mississippi Sound, Mississippi, USA. The new species differs from S. olsoni by having a larger body (1.4–3.8 mm long), robust tegumental body spines numbering 51–63 along each lateral body margin, a testis extending from the posterior caeca to the ovary, and a medial ovary with lobes. We amend the diagnosis of Selachohemecus Short, 1954 to accommodate it and provide a diagnostic key for all named chondrichthyan blood flukes.