New species of Proterometra (Digenea: Azygiidae) and its life cycle in the Chickasawhay River, Mississippi, USA, with supplemental observations of Proterometra autraini

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Abstract

We describe Proterometra ariasae n. sp. based upon cercariae shed from a freshwater snail, Pleurocera sp., and adults infecting the buccal cavity of longear sunfish, Lepomis megalotis, captured from the Chickasawhay River, Mississippi, USA. We also provide supplemental observations of cercarial and adult paratypes of Proterometra autraini from the Au Train River, Michigan, USA. Sequence data for the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) from adults and cercariae of the new species were identical. Adults of the new species differ from congeners by having (i) a markedly large body, (ii) a proportionally large oral sucker, (iii) ovoid testes, (iv) a strongly muscular and laterally expanded pars prostatica, (v) a uterus that is extensively convoluted between the ovary and ventral sucker (vi) and a vitellarium as long as the caeca and extending posteriad beyond the anterior margin of the testes. Cercariae of the new species differ from those of its congeners by having (i) a tail stem that is shorter than 10. mm and that lacks a medial constriction, (ii) obcordate furcae that are wider than long, (iii) mamillae distributed throughout the anterior tail stem only, and (v) a proportionally small distome that has relatively few uterine eggs and remains withdrawn in the anterior tail stem region in actively swimming cercariae. This is the first report of Proterometra from Mississippi, the second description to employ morphology and sequence data to elucidate a life cycle for Proterometra, and the third species of Proterometra from an intermediate host not assigned to Elimia.

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Womble, M. R., Orélis-Ribeiro, R., & Bullard, S. A. (2016). New species of Proterometra (Digenea: Azygiidae) and its life cycle in the Chickasawhay River, Mississippi, USA, with supplemental observations of Proterometra autraini. Parasitology International, 65(1), 31–43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.parint.2015.09.005

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