A NEW NEODIPLOSTOMID (DIGENEA) FROM THE INTESTINE OF CHICKS INFECTED WITH METACERCARIAE FROM THE GRASS SNAKE,RHABDOPHIS TIGRINA

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Abstract

Three species of neodiplostomula are known to inhabit the European grass snake, Rhabdophis tigrina, in the Republic of Korea: Pharyngostomum cordatum (large-sized neodiplostomula), an intestinal trematode of cats; Neodiplostomum seoulense (small-sized neodiplostomula), an intestinal trematode of humans and rodents; and Neodiplostomum leei (small-sized neodiplostomula), which migrates to the livers of rodents and is an intestinal trematode of birds. The present study describes a fourth species, Neodiplostomum (Conodiplostomum) boryongense n. sp. (Digenea: Neodiplostomidae), based on adult flukes recovered from the small intestines of chicks experimentally infected with small-sized neodiplostomula from the grass snake. The new species differs from 13 previously known species. It also differs from N. seoulense in its larger body size, severely bilobed testes, and smaller genital atrium, and from N. leei in its larger body size, smaller ventral sucker, presence of a genital cone, and vitelline follicles distributed chiefly in the forebody. The new species does not migrate to the livers of rodents nor does it develop to adulthood in the rodent intestines. However, the neodiplostomula of the new species are indistinguishable from those of the other 2 species. Results show that at least 4 species of neodiplostomula inhabit the grass snake in the Republic of Korea.

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