Folia Parasitologica 63:038 (2016) | 10.14411/fp.2016.038
Survey work of batoid elasmobranchs in the eastern Atlantic and Indo-Pacific revealed multiple species of a new genus of cestode. Stillabothrium Healy et Reyda gen. n. (Rhinebothriidea: Escherbothriidae) is unique in its possession of an even number of non-medial longitudinal septa in the posterior portion of the bothridia, resulting in a series of loculi that are longer than wide (i.e. vertically oriented) and are arranged in columns. Five new species of Stillabothrium are described, S. ashleyae Willsey et Reyda sp. n., S. davidcynthiaorum Daigler et Reyda sp. n., S. campbelli Delgado, Dedrick et Reyda sp. n., S. hyphantoseptum Herzog, Bergman et Reyda sp. n., S. jeanfortiae Forti, Aprill et Reyda sp. n., and two species are formally transferred to the genus, S. amuletum (Butler, 1987) comb. n., and S. cadenati (Euzet, 1954) comb. n., the latter of which is redescribed. The species differ in the configuration of the other bothridial septa and in proglottid anatomy. Species of Stillabothrium were found parasitising a total of 17 species of batoid elasmobranchs of the genera Dasyatis Rafinesque, Glaucostegus Bonaparte, Himantura Müller et Henle, Pastinachus Rüppell, Rhinobatos Linck and Zanobatus Garman, including several host species that are likely new to science. A phylogenetic hypothesis based on Bayesian analysis of 1 084 aligned positions of the D1-D3 region of 28S rDNA for 27 specimens representing 10 species of Stillabothrium and two outgroup species supported the monophyly of Stillabothrium. These results also supported morphologically determined species boundaries in all cases in which more than one specimen of a putative species was included in the analysis. Host specificity appears to vary across species of Stillabothrium, with the number of host species parasitised by each species of Stillabothrium ranging from one to four. The geographic distribution of species of Stillabothrium spans the eastern Hemisphere, including the eastern Atlantic (coastal Senegal) and several locations in the Indo-Pacific (coastal Vietnam, Borneo and Australia). In addition, Phyllobothrium biacetabulatum Yamaguti, 1960 is formally transferred into family Escherbothriidae, although its generic placement remains uncertain (species incertae sedis).
Received: December 21, 2015; Accepted: July 29, 2016; Published online: November 10, 2016