Folia Parasitologica, vol. 57 (2010), issue 1

Folia Parasitologica 57[1] 37-46 (2010) | 10.14411/fp.2010.006

Scolex morphology of monozoic cestodes (Caryophyllidea) from the Palaearctic Region: a useful tool for species identification

Mikuláš Oros1,2, Tomáš Scholz2, Vladimíra Hanzelová1, John S. Mackiewicz3
1 Parasitological Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Hlinkova 3, 040 01 Košice, Slovakia
2 Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Branišovská 31, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
3 State University of New York at Albany, New York 12222, USA

A comparative study of the scoleces of caryophyllidean tapeworms (Cestoda: Caryophyllidea), parasitic in cypriniform fishes in the Palaearctic Region, was carried out using light and scanning electron microscopy. Three-dimensional pictures of the scoleces of 18 species of caryophyllidean cestodes of the Capingentidae (1 species), Caryophyllaeidae (7) and Lytocestidae (10), and outlines of the scoleces and anterior extent of the testes and vitelline follicles of 19 Palaearctic taxa were documented. Both species of Atractolytocestus Anthony, 1957 possess a bulboacuminate scolex, whereas species of Archigetes Leuckart, 1876 have fossate scoleces of the bothrioloculodiscate type, with loculi, bothrium-like depressions and an apical disc. Breviscolex orientalis Kulakovskaya, 1962, the only member of the Capingentidae, has a cuneiform scolex, as do both taxa of the lytocestid genus Caryophyllaeides Nybelin, 1922. The scoleces of two species of Caryophyllaeus Gmelin, 1790 are flabellate, whereas that of the congeneric C. fimbriceps Annenkova-Chlopina, 1919 is cuneicrispitate. Khawia Hsü, 1935, the most specious Palaearctic genus, with seven taxa that we consider to be valid, has the highest diversity in scolex morphology: semi-bulbate, flabellate, cuneiform, cuneifimbriate, truncated cuneiform-flabellate and festoon-like. Species of Monobothrium Nybelin, 1922 have either a digitiform scolex with widened posterior part or cuneiform, with lateral auricular extensions. Paracaryophyllaeus gotoi (Motomura, 1927) is characteristic in its possessing a bulbate scolex, whereas Paraglaridacris limnodrili (Yamaguti, 1934) has a fossate scolex of the bulboloculate type with bothrium-like depressions and feebly developed lateral loculi. Anterior extent of the testes and vitelline follicles and their mutual position show a somewhat higher variability than scolex shape, with intraspecific variation in some taxa, such as Atractolytocestus sagittatus (Kulakovskaya et Akhmerov, 1965), B. orientalis, Khawia armeniaca (Cholodkovsky, 1915) and K. sinensis Hsü, 1935. Based on scolex morphology and relative position of the anterior testes and vitelline follicles, a key is provided to facilitate the routine identification of 20 Palaearctic caryophyllidean taxa.

Keywords: Cestoda, fish, comparative morphology, scanning electron microscopy, identification, Palaearctic Region

Received: July 17, 2009; Accepted: October 19, 2009; Published: March 1, 2010


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