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J Parasitol. 1988 Jun;74(3):459-65.

Rhinebothrium devaneyi n. sp. (Eucestoda: Tetraphyllidea) and Echinocephalus overstreeti Deardorff and Ko, 1983 (Nematoda: Gnathostomatidae) in a thorny back ray, Urogymnus asperrimus, from Enewetak Atoll, with phylogenetic analysis of both species groups.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


The new species is a member of an apparently monophyletic group within the genus that includes R. flexile, R. walga, R. himanturi, R. burgeri, R. euzeti, R. hawaiiensis, R. urobatidium, R. paratrygoni, R. ditesticulum, R. tetralobatum, R. margaritense, R. biorchidum, and R. spinicephalum. All of these species have bothridia with medial longitudinal septa, a constriction at mid-bothridium, and, primitively, at least 42 loculi per bothridium and 17-22 testes per proglottid. Of the above, the new species is apparently most closely related to R. burgeri, with which it shares an increased number of testes (30-43) per proglottid, a V-shaped ovary, and a muscular genital pore. The new species is distinct by virtue of possessing 94-152 loculi per bothridium--no other known species has more than 78. This is the second report of Echinocephalus overstreeti from a stingray. It represents a new host, U. asperrimus, and a new location, Enewetak Atoll. Phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis of each species group suggests an ancient Tethys Sea-circum-Pacific origin and evolution. This supports the hypothesis of ancient Pacific origins for potamotrygonid stingrays.

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