Folia Parasitologica 62:057 (2015) | 10.14411/fp.2015.057
Neotropical freshwater stingrays (Batoidea: Potamotrygonidae) host a diversity of parasites, including some, like their hosts, that are marine-derived. Among the parasites of potamotrygonids, the cestode fauna is the most diverse, with multiple genera having been reported, including genera endemic to the freshwaters of the Neotropics and genera that have cosmopolitan distributions. Recent efforts have been made to document the diversity of cestodes of this host-parasite system and to refine the taxonomy of parasite lineages. The present study contributes to our knowledge of Rhinebothrium Linton, 1890, a diverse cosmopolitan genus of rhinebothriidean cestode, with 37 species reported from marine batoids, one species from a freshwater stingray in Borneo and six species from potamotrygonids. Rhinebothrium jaimei sp. n. is described from two species of potamotrygonids, Potamotrygon orbignyi (Castelnau) (type host) and Potamotrygon scobina Garman, from Bahía de Marajó of the lower Amazon region. It can be distinguished from most of its marine congeners via multiple attributes, including its possession of two, rather than one, posteriormost loculi on its bothridia and the lomeniform shape of its bothridium that is wider anteriorly. In addition, R. jaimei sp. n. can be distinguished from the six Rhinebothrium species described previously from potamotrygonids based on a unique combination of morphological features. Despite extensive stingray cestode sampling efforts throughout all major Neotropical river systems, we found that unlike most species of potamotrygonid Rhinebothrium species, which are widespread, R. jaimei sp. n. is restricted to the Bahía de Marajó. The discovery of this new species of Rhinebothrium in Bahía de Marajó, an area in which potamotrygonids occur sympatrically with some species of euryhaline batoids (e.g. Dasyatis spp.) and share some trophic resources, suggest that modern ecological processes may be contributing to the distribution patterns of cestodes infecting potamotrygonids.
Received: December 9, 2014; Accepted: July 17, 2015; Published online: September 25, 2015