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J Parasitol. 2011 Feb;97(1):128-34. doi: 10.1645/GE-2346.1. Epub 2010 Aug 27.

A new genus and species of Brachycoeliidae (Digenea) from Chiropterotriton sp. (Caudata: Plethodontidae) in Mexico and its phylogenetic position within the Plagiorchiida based on partial sequences of the 28S ribosomal RNA gene.

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Departamento de Zoología, Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ap Postal 70-143, México DF, CP 04510 México DF.


Parabrachycoelium longicaecum n. gen., n. sp. (Digenea: Brachycoeliidae) is described from the intestine of a plethodontid salamander Chiropterotriton sp. Hosts were collected in bromeliads at the cloud forest of Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico. Members of the Brachycoeliidae Looss, 1899 (sensu Yamaguti, 1971) are characterized by having a spined tegument; ceca usually short, not passing level of gonads, but longer in some species; gonads posterior to, or in region of, acetabulum, with ovary anterior to testes; a well developed cirrus pouch containing a bipartite seminal vesicle; and uterus occupying entire hind-body posterior to testes. However, this combination of morphological traits prevents the inclusion of the new taxon in any of the genera in that family; a new genus was, therefore, erected to accommodate the new species. The new taxon is readily distinguished from members belonging to Brachycoelium Dujardin, 1845, Mesocoelium Odhner, 1910, and Tremiorchis Mehra and Negi, 1925, by having long ceca extending into the posterior third of the body, slightly surpassing the testes, and vitellaria extending along the body. The new species morphologically resembles Caudouterina rhyacotritoni Martin, 1966, a digenean parasitizing a plethodontid salamander; however, the latter species lacks spines in the tegument and is actually placed within the Allocreadiidae. To demonstrate further the phylogenetic position of the new taxon, we sequenced the D1-D3 regions of 28S rRNA gene and conducted a phylogenetic analysis of available sequences for the order to which brachycoeliids belong (Plagiorchiida). Sequence divergence of the partial 28S rRNA gene confirms its distinction from the aforementioned brachycoeliids, and the phylogenetic position within the Plagiorchiida places the new species as closely related to a clade formed by Brachycoelium + Mesocoelium. Divergence levels and phylogenetic position within the Plagiorchiida verifies the validity of the new genus and its inclusion in Brachycoeliidae.

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