INTESTINAL HELMINTHS OF FRESHWATER STINGRAYS IN SOUTHEASTERN PERU, AND A NEW GENUS AND TWO NEW SPECIES OF CESTODE

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Abstract

Helminths of the spiral intestine of neotropical freshwater stingrays (Potamotrygonidae) were examined in Peru for the first time. The stingrays examined for helminths included Paratrygon aiereba, Potamotrygon motoro, and Potamotrygon cf. castexi. Present in P. aiereba were the cestodes Nandocestus guariticus (Marques, Brooks, and Lasso, 2001) n. gen. n. comb., Rhinebothrium copianullum n. sp., Rhinebothrium sp. 1, Rhinebothroides sp., Potamotrygonocestus cf. fitzgeraldae, and 1 species each of Cucullanus and Rhabdochona. Nandocestus n. gen. is erected to house N. guariticus, which is formally transferred from AnindobothriumMarques, Brooks, and Lasso, 2001. The new genus is unique among phyllobothriids in its possession of circummedullary vitelline follicles and a submarginal genital pore, in combination with bothridia with a single apical sucker and marginal bothridial loculi. The helminths of P. motoro included the cestodes Paraoncomegas araya, Acanthobothrium peruviense n. sp., Acanthobothrium cf. ramiroi, Rhinebothrium sp. 1, Rhinebothroides sp. 1, Potamotrygonocestus sp., the nematode Brevimulticaecum regoi, a species of Cucullanus, and a species of the digenean superfamily Diplostomoidea. The helminths of P. cf. castexi included the cestodes P. araya, N. guariticus n. gen. n. comb., Acanthobothrium cf. peruviense, Potamotrygonocestus sp., Rhinebothrium sp. 1, Rhinebothroides sp. 2, the nematode species Echinocephalus daileyi and B. regoi, 1 species each of Cucullanus, Rhabdochona, and Procamallanus, and a species of the digenean superfamily Hemiuroidea. All taxa were examined via light microscopy; the cestode taxa were also examined using scanning electron microscopy. Each helminth species recorded in this study is a first report from Peru. The study suggests that the diversity and host specificity of the cestodes in potamotrygonid stingrays may be greater than previously thought. The known numbers of genera and species of tetraphyllidean cestodes parasitizing neotropical freshwater stingrays are now 6 and 22, respectively.

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