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Acta Parasitologica

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Volume 55, Issue 2


A new genus and new species of microbothriid monogenean (Platyhelminthes) with a functionally enigmatic reproductive system, parasitic on the skin and mouth lining of the largetooth sawfish, Pristis microdon, in Australia

Graham Kearn / Ian Whittington
  • Monogenean Research Laboratory, Parasitology Section, The South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia, 5000, Australia
  • Marine Parasitology Laboratory, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (DX 650 418), The University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia, 5005, Australia
  • Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity, The University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia, 5005, Australia
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/ Richard Evans-Gowing
Published Online: 2010-04-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-010-0019-1


Dermopristis paradoxus gen. et sp. nov., a microbothriid monogenean parasite from the skin and mouth lining of the largetooth sawfish, Pristis microdon (Elasmobranchii, Pristidae) in Australia, is described. The parasite has 2 juxtaposed testes and differs from other microbothriids in possessing a unique and unusual terminal male reproductive tract comprising a proximal and a distal tube, the latter with a conspicuous opening on the ventral surface and lacking a recognisable male copulatory organ. The smalltooth sawfish, P. pectinata, also has a skin-parasitic microbothriid, Dermophthirioides pristidis Cheung et Nigrelli, 1983, but this parasite species has a prominent copulatory papilla. Dermopristis paradoxus also has parallel ridges with broad tops running in a roughly transverse direction across the ventral surface of the body. The ventral ridges are prominent from the level of the pharynx to the posterior region of the body. The function of the ridges is unknown. Reproductive biology, attachment and feeding in D. paradoxus are discussed. In the absence of unmounted parasite specimens for sectioning, a mounted specimen of D. paradoxus was released from the slide and successfully processed to provide serial, stained, resin sections. This useful technique is recommended to provide anatomical information in situations where only specimens on slides are available for study.

Keywords: Platyhelminthes; Monogenea; Microbothriidae; Dermopristis paradoxus gen. et sp. nov.; Dermophthirioides pristidis; sawfish; Pristis spp.; reproductive biology; functional morphology

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About the article

Published Online: 2010-04-21

Published in Print: 2010-06-01

Citation Information: Acta Parasitologica, Volume 55, Issue 2, Pages 115–122, ISSN (Online) 1896-1851, ISSN (Print) 1230-2821, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-010-0019-1.

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© 2010 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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