Folia Parasitologica 59 107-114 (2012) | DOI: 10.14411/fp.2012.016
A new species of tetraphyllidean cestode in the genus Trilocularia is described from an undescribed shark species, Squalus cf. mitsukurii, off the coast of South Africa. Trilocularia eberti sp. n. is the second known member of its genus, and like its congener, T. gracilis (Olsson, 1866-1867) Olsson, 1869, is extremely hyperapolytic, dropping proglottids from its strobila while they are still very immature. Characteristic of the genus, it possesses a distinctive scolex with triloculated bothridia, but differs conspicuously from its congener in its possession of an anterior loculus that is much larger in width relative to the paired posterior loculi, and also in its possession of an anterior, enlarged region of its free proglottids that is triangular with a slit-like ventral aperture, rather than rounded and cup-like. This anterior region of the free proglottid is used in attachment, and its development is described. For assessment of fecundity, an attempt was made to record all free proglottids of all ages found in both host individuals, and yielded an average estimate of 362 free proglottids being produced per individual worm of T. eberti sp. n. Both Trilocularia species parasitize sharks of the genus Squalus, and given the host specificity typically exhibited by tetraphyllideans and preliminary examinations of other members of this shark genus, it is likely that other Squalus species will be found to host additional new Trilocularia species.
Received: January 12, 2012; Accepted: April 5, 2012; Published: June 1, 2012