BLOOD FLUKES (DIGENEA: APOROCOTYLIDAE) OF STINGRAYS (MYLIOBATIFORMES: DASYATIDAE):ORCHISPIRIUM HETEROVITELLATUMFROMHIMANTURA IMBRICATAIN THE BAY OF BENGAL AND A NEW GENUS AND SPECIES OF APOROCOTYLIDAE FROMDASYATIS SABINAIN THE NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO

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Abstract

We redescribe Orchispirium heterovitellatum based on the holotype and 3 original voucher specimens collected from the mesenteric blood vessels of scaly whiprays Himantura imbricata (Bloch and Schneider, 1801) (as Dasyatis imbricatus) captured in the western Bay of Bengal off Waltair, India. We emend the diagnosis of Orchispirium to include anterior sucker present, testis looping, cirrus sac enveloping large internal seminal vesicle, oviducal seminal receptacle present, and metraterm short and thin-walled. We describe Myliobaticola richardheardi n. gen., n. sp. based on live observations, light microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy of adult specimens collected from between the cardiac trabeculae of Atlantic stingrays Dasyatis sabina (Lesueur, 1824) captured in Mississippi Sound (type locality), Mississippi, and Apalachicola Bay, Florida. The new species has a minute, aspinous body lacking lateral tubercles; an aspinous and eversible anterior sucker lacking a peduncle; a posterior esophageal swelling; an inverse U-shaped intestine; smooth ceca terminating in the anterior body half; a looping testis lacking lobes; a cirrus sac enveloping a large internal seminal vesicle; a medial and primarily post-testicular ovary; an oviducal seminal receptacle; a postgonadal uterus flanking the internal seminal vesicle; a short and thin-walled metraterm; and a common genital pore. It lacks a pharynx and Laurer's canal. No other named aporocotylids infect a member of cohort Batoidea or have the combination of an aspinous body, an aspinous anterior sucker, a posterior esophageal swelling, an inverse U-shaped intestine, a looping testis, a cirrus sac enveloping a large internal seminal vesicle, and a common genital pore; these observations indicate that O. heterovitellatum and M. richardheardi are closely related. The discovery of a second species representing a second genus of Aporocotylidae in diamond stingrays (Dasyatidae) suggests that Batoidea is an undersampled host group for aporocotylid infections.

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