Identification of the tapeworm Mosgovoyia pectinata (Anoplocephalidae) in Faroese mountain hares (Lepus timidus)

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The mountain hares (Lepus timidus L., 1758) in the Faroe Islands, an archipelago located in the North Atlantic, are known to be commonly infected by tapeworms, the identity of which was unknown. The mountain hare, which now populates 15 of the 18 islands, was introduced from Norway in 1855. In this study, tapeworms collected from four mountain hares from four geographic areas of the Faroe Islands were subjected to molecular identification using the nuclear ribosomal DNA (28S), the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) and the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 (nad1) genes. The results indicate unambiguously that the tapeworms were Mosgovoyia pectinata (Goeze, 1782) (Cestoda: Anoplocephalidae sensu stricto). The phylogenetic position and origin of the Faroese M. pectinata are discussed. Given that the parasite is quite common in Norway, from where the mountain hares were introduced, it is conceivable that co-introduction of M. pectinata from Norway to the Faroe Islands took place. The phylogenetic analyses revealed high similarity of the M. pectinata sequences from three regions and the position of the Faroese isolate as the sister lineage of the isolates from Finland and East Siberia.




Magnussen, E., Stensvold, C. R., Berg, R., Jokelainen, P., & Haukisalmi, V. (2023). Identification of the tapeworm Mosgovoyia pectinata (Anoplocephalidae) in Faroese mountain hares (Lepus timidus). International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife, 21, 17–21.

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