Folia Parasitologica, vol. 61 (2014), issue 4

Folia Parasitologica 61[4] 331-346 (2014) | 10.14411/fp.2014.040

Spathebothriidea: survey of species, scolex and egg morphology, and interrelationships of a non-segmented, relictual tapeworm group (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda)*

Roman Kuchta1, Rebecca Pearson2, Tomáš Scholz1,3, Oleg Ditrich3, Peter D. Olson2
1 Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, České Budějovice, Czech Republic;
2 Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom;
3 Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic *This paper is dedicated to Michael 'Mick' David Brunskill Burt (1938-2014) whose recent passing represents a great loss to cestodology.

Tapeworms of the order Spathebothriidea Wardle et McLeod, 1952 (Cestoda) are reviewed. Molecular data made it possible to assess, for the first time, the phylogenetic relationships of all genera and to confirm the validity of Bothrimonus Duvernoy, 1842, Diplocotyle Krabbe, 1874 and Didymobothrium Nybelin, 1922. A survey of all species considered to be valid is provided together with new data on egg and scolex morphology and surface ultrastructure (i.e. microtriches). The peculiar morphology of the members of this group, which is today represented by five effectively monotypic genera whose host associations and geographical distribution show little commonality, indicate that it is a relictual group that was once diverse and widespread. The order potentially represents the earliest branch of true tapeworms (i.e. Eucestoda) among extant forms.

Keywords: Eucestoda, taxonomy, scanning electron microscopy, 28S rDNA, 18S rDNA, ITS2, phylogenetic relationships, distribution

Received: December 19, 2013; Accepted: February 17, 2014; Prepublished online: April 18, 2014; Published: August 6, 2014


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