Thorny-headed worms

Morphological and molecular differentiation of two new species of Pseudoacanthocephalus Petrochenko, 1958 (Acanthocephala: Echinorhynchidae) from amphibians and reptiles in the Philippines, with identification key for the genus.

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2013
Authors:V. V. Tkach, Lisitsyna, O. I., Crossley, J. L., Binh, T. Thi, Bush, S. E.
Journal:Syst Parasitol
Date Published:2013 May

The genus Pseudoacanthocephalus Petrochenko, 1958 currently includes 14 species of acanthocephalans parasitic in amphibians and reptiles worldwide. This work describes two new species of Pseudoacanthocephalus from amphibians and reptiles collected in several localities on Luzon Island, Philippines. Pseudoacanthocephalus nickoli n. sp. was found in two species of frogs, Rana luzonensis Boulenger and Rana similis (Günther), and Pseudoacanthocephalus smalesi n. sp. was found in a scincid lizard, Sphenomorphus abdictus Brown & Alcala. Differential diagnoses of the two new species of Pseudoacanthocephalus from their congeners are provided. Comparative analysis of nuclear ribosomal rRNA sequences encompassing the 3' end of 18S nuclear rDNA gene, internal transcribed spacer region (ITS1+5.8S+ITS2), and 5' end of the 28S gene strongly corroborated the morphological evidence and demonstrated significant differences between the two new species as well as between these species and closely related species from continental China and Vietnam. No intraspecific sequence variability was detected among different individuals representing each of the examined species. This is the first report of Pseudoacanthocephalus in the Philippines. A key to known species of Pseudoacanthocephalus is provided.

Alternate Journal:Syst. Parasitol.
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