|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication:||2010|
|Authors:||M. T. Wayland|
|Pagination:||159 - 167|
|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 http://acanthocephala.sourceforge.net. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.