Folia Parasitologica, vol. 61 (2014), issue 6

Folia Parasitologica 61[6] 523-528 (2014) | DOI: 10.14411/fp.2014.057

Phylogenetic relationships and systematic position of the families Cortrematidae and Phaneropsolidae (Platyhelminthes: Digenea)

Gerard Kanarek1, Grzegorz Zaleśny2, Jiljí Sitko3, Vasyl V. Tkach4
1 Ornithological Station, Museum and Institute of Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Gdańsk, Poland;
2 Institute of Biology, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wrocław, Poland;
3 Comenius Museum, Přerov, Czech Republic;
4 Department of Biology, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA

The systematic position and phylogenetic relationships of the family Cortrematidae Yamaguti, 1958 have always been controversial. In the present study, the phylogenetic relationships of this family and its constituent genera and families within the superfamily Microphalloidea were evaluated using previously published and newly obtained sequences of 28S rDNA of Cortrema magnicaudata (Bykhovskaya-Pavlovskaya, 1950) (Cortrematidae), Phaneropsolus praomydis Baer, 1971 and Microtrema barusi Sitko, 2013 (Phaneropsolidae). Results clearly demonstrate that the genus Cortrema Tang, 1951 is closest to Gyrabascus Macy 1935, both genera forming one of the clades within the family Pleurogenidae in the superfamily Microphalloidea and sharing several important morphological features. Thus, the family Cortrematidae should be considered among synonyms of the Pleurogenidae. Based on the analysis of morphology, C. corti Tang, 1951, C. testilobata (Bykhovskaya-Pavlovskaya, 1953) and C. niloticus Ashour, Ahmed et Lewis, 1994 are considered junior synonyms of C. magnicaudata. The phylogenetic position of P. praomydis as a family-level branch not showing close relationships with other families of the Microphalloidea, supports the status of the Phaneropsolidae as an independent family. The genus Parabascus Looss, 1907 previously considered within the Phaneropsolidae clearly belongs to the Pleurogenidae. In addition, the molecular phylogeny has demonstrated that the recently described phaneropsolid Microtrema barusi belongs to the microphallid genus Microphallus Ward, 1901. Therefore, Microtrema Sitko, 2013 is considered a junior synonym of Microphallus. Our analysis has also confirmed the status of Collyriclidae as a family within the Microphalloidea. Not yet sequenced representatives of other families within the Microphalloidea (e.g. Anenterotrematidae, Eumegacetidae, Renschtrematidae, Stomylotrematidae, etc.) need to be included in future molecular phylogenetic studies to better unravel the taxonomic structure and content of this diverse digenean superfamily.

Keywords: Trematoda, Plagiorchiida, Microphalloidea, Cortrema, 28S rDNA, molecular phylogeny, taxonomy

Received: May 5, 2014; Accepted: July 1, 2014; Prepublished online: September 26, 2014; Published: December 4, 2014


  1. Ashour A.A., Ahmed S.E., Lewis J.W. 1994: A new species of Cortrema Tang, 1951 (Digenea: Cortrematidae) from the Egyptian sparrow, Passer domesticus niloticus. J. Egypt. Ger. Soc. Zool. 14: 495-502
  2. Baer J.G. 1971: Trematodes de rongeurs recoltes en Cote d'Ivoire. Z. Parasitenkd. 37: 226-254 Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  3. Blair D., Barton D.P. 2008: Family Cortrematidae Yamaguti, 1958. In: R.A. Bray, D.I. Gibson and A. Jones (Eds.), Keys to the Trematoda, Vol. 3. CAB International and Natural History Museum, London, pp. 231-232
  4. Bray R.A., Blair D. 2008: Superfamily Gorgoderoidea Looss, 1899. In: R.A. Bray, D.I. Gibson and A. Jones (Eds.), Keys to Trematoda, Vol. 3. CAB International and Natural History Museum, London, pp. 187-90
  5. Burns W.C. 1961a: Six virgulate xiphidiocercariae from Oregon, including redescriptions of Allassogonoporus vespertilionis and Acanthatrium oregonense. J. Parasitol. 47: 919-925 Go to original source...
  6. Burns W.C. 1961b: Penetration and development of Allassogonoporus vespertilionis and Acanthatrium oregonense (Trematoda: Lecithodendriidae) cercariae in caddis fly larvae. J. Parasitol. 47: 927-932 Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  7. Bykhovskaya-Pavlovskaya I.E. 1950: [New species of kidney parasites (genus Renicola) of birds.] Dokl. Akad. Nauk SSSR 71: 412-417. (In Russian.)
  8. Bykhovskaya-Pavlovskaya I.E. 1953: [Trematode fauna of birds of Leningrad region]. In: A.M. Petrov (Ed.), Contributions to Helminthology Published to Commemorate the 75th Birthday of K.I. Skryabin.] Izdatelstvo Akademii Nauk SSSR, Moscov, pp. 85-92. (In Russian.)
  9. Goodman J.D., Panesar T.S. 1986: Phaneropsolus (Phaneropsolus) n. sp. (Trematoda: Lecithodendriidae) from the potto Perodicticus potto in Uganda. Trans. Am. Microsc. Soc. 105: 76-78 Go to original source...
  10. Henneberg P., Literak I. 2013: Molecular phylogenetic characterization of Collyriclum faba with reference to its three host-specific ecotypes. Parasitol. Int. 62: 262-267 Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  11. Huelsenbeck J.P., Ronquist F. 2001: MrBayes: Bayesian inference of phylogeny. Bioinformatics 17: 754-755 Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  12. Khotenovskii I.A. 1961: [Morphology and taxonomy of trematodes of the genus Cortrema Tang, 1951 (Lecithodendriidae Odhner, 1911)]. Parazitol. Sb. 20: 324-338. (In Russian.)
  13. Khotenovskii I.A. 1970: [Family Pluerogenidae Looss, 1899]. In: K.I. Skryabin (Ed.), [Trematodes of Animals and Man, Vol. XXIII.] Nauka, Moscow, pp. 137-306. (In Russian.)
  14. Lotz J.M., Font W.F. 2008a: Family Gyrabascidae Macy, 1935. In: R.A. Bray, D.I. Gibson and A. Jones (Eds.), Keys to Trematoda, Vol. 3. CAB International and Natural History Museum, London, pp. 523-525
  15. Lotz J.M., Font W.F. 2008b: Family Phaneropsolidae Mehra, 1935. In: R.A. Bray, D.I. Gibson and A. Jones (Eds.), Keys to Trematoda, Vol. 3. CAB International and Natural History Museum, London, pp. 545-562
  16. Mehra H.R. 1935: New trematodes of the family Lecithodendriidae Odhner, 1911, with a discussion on the classification of the family. Proc. Acad. Sci. Agra Oudh 5: 99-121
  17. Odening K. 1964a: Zur Taxonomie zur Trematodenunterordnung Plagiorchiata. Monatsber. Deutsch. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 6: 191-198
  18. Odening K. 1964b: Exkretionssystem und systematische Stellung einiger Fledermaustrematoden aus Berlin und Umgebung nebst Bemerkungen zum Lecithodendrioiden Komplex. Z. Parasitenkd. 24: 453-483 Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  19. Odening K. 1971: Moeglichkeiten der Herstellung des bisher unbekannten Zusammenhangs von Cercarien und adulten Trematoden mit Hilfe detaillierter Kenntnisse des Exkretionssystems nebst Ausfuehrungen zum weiteren Ausbau des Systems der Plagiorchiata. Parasitol. Schrift. 21: 57-72 Go to PubMed...
  20. Olson P.D., Cribb T.H., Tkach V.V., Bray R.A., Littlewood D.T.J. 2003: Phylogeny and classification of the Digenea (Platyhelminthes: Trematoda). Int. J. Parasitol. 33: 733-755 Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  21. Oshmarin P.G. 1970: [Trematodes of wild and domestic birds of Democratic Republic of Vietnam.] In: P.G. Oshmarin, Y.L. Mamaev and B.I. Lebedev (Eds.), Helminths of Animals in South-Eastern Asia. Nauka, Moscow, pp. 5-126. (In Russian.)
  22. Sharpilo V.P., Iskova N.I. 1989: [The Fauna of the Ukraine. Trematoda: Plagiorchiata.] Naukova Dumka, Kiev, 280 pp. (In Russian.)
  23. Sitko J. 2013: Microtrema barusi gen. n. and sp. n. (Digenea: Phaneropsolidae) from Prunella modularis (Aves, Passeriformes) in the Czech Republic. Helminthologia 50: 43-45 Go to original source...
  24. Sitko J., Faltynkova A., Scholz T. 2006: Checklist of the Trematodes (Digenea) of Birds of the Czech and Slovak Republics. Academia, Praha, 111 pp
  25. Tang C.C. 1951: Contribution to the knowledge of the helminth fauna of Fukien. Part 2. Notes on Ornitobilharzia hoeppli n. sp. from Swinhoe's snipe and Cortrema corti n. gen. n. sp. from the Chinese tree sparrow. Peking Nat. Hist. Bull. 19: 209-216
  26. Tang C.C., Tang Z.Z. 1981: Studies on the life cycle of Cortrema corti Tang. Acta Zool. Sin. 27: 64-74
  27. Tkach V.V., Littlewood D.T.J., Olson P.D., Kinsella J.M., Swiderski Z. 2003: Molecular phylogenetic analysis of the Microphalloidea Ward, 1901. Syst. Parasitol. 56: 1-15 Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  28. Tkach V.V., Lotz J.M., Swiderski Z., Esteban J.G. 2002: On the systematic position of Ophiosacculus Macy, 1935 (Digenea: Lecithodendriidae), with erection of the Ophiosacculinae n. subfam. Syst. Parasitol. 53: 159-167 Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  29. Tkach V., Pawlowski J., Mariaux J. 2000: Phylogenetic analysis of the suborder Plagiorchiata (Platyhelminthes, Digenea) based on partial lsrDNA sequences. Int. J. Parasitol. 30: 83-93 Go to original source... Go to PubMed...
  30. Tkach V.V., Pawlowski J., Mariaux J., Swiderski Z. 2001: Molecular phylogeny of the suborder Plagiorchiata and its position in the system of Digenea. In: D.T.J. Littlewood and R.A. Bray (Eds.), Interrelationships of the Platyhelminthes. Taylor & Francis, London, pp. 186-193
  31. Yamaguti S. 1958: Systema Helminthum. Volume I. The Digenetic Trematodes of Vertebrates. Interscience Publishers Inc., New York, 979 pp
  32. Yamaguti S. 1971: Synopsis of Digenetic Trematodes of Vertebrates. Vol. I. Keigaku Publishing, Tokyo, 1074 pp