Thorny-headed worms

Proboscis profiler: A tool for detecting acanthocephalan morphotypes

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2010
Authors:M. T. Wayland
Journal:Systematic Parasitology
Pagination:159 - 167
Date Published:2010///
ISBN Number:01655752 (ISSN)
Keywords:Acanthocephala, Acanthocephala (worms), Acanthocephalus, animal, animal anatomy, Animal Structures, Animals, article, biology, classification, Computational Biology, computer program, Echinorhynchus gadi, evaluation, histology, methodology, Parasitology, Software

Molecular studies conducted over the past 25 years have revealed previously unrecognised diversity in the phylum Acanthocephala. Several nominal species have been shown to represent complexes of morphologically cryptic biological species, a situation potentially confounding the analysis of ecological data. A software tool, 'Proboscis profiler', was developed to detect morphological heterogeneity in collections of superficially similar acanthocephalan worms based on the multivariate statistical analysis of proboscis hook dimensions. Proboscis profiler identifies objective, natural groups in a collection of acanthocephalans which may correspond to distinct biological species or populations. Initial trials demonstrate that Proboscis profiler can discriminate biological acanthocephalan species of the Echinorhynchus gadi Zoega in Müller, 1776 complex and differentiate between dorsal and ventral hook rows from the proboscis of E. salmonis Müller, 1784. Proboscis profiler is free software and can be downloaded from © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith