A redescription of the fish leech Pterobdella amara (= Rhopalobdella japonica) (Hirudinida: Piscicolidae) based on specimens from the type locality in India and from Australia

J Parasitol. 2006 Aug;92(4):677-81. doi: 10.1645/GE-802R.1.

Abstract

Pterobdella amara is redescribed from specimens from the type locality in India, and from the type host in Queensland, Australia. A neotype is designated from the type locality. The presence of conspicuous finlike bodies along the lateral margins of P. amara was greatly exaggerated in the original description. The trachelosome and anterior portion of the urosome are wide and flat, but there are no finlike bodies present. The urosome tapers abruptly posterior to the flattened portion, becomes cylindrical, and remains of constant width to the caudal sucker. The oral sucker is small and the caudal sucker is terminal. The body is smooth and lacks pigmentation, except for 1 pair of eyes on the oral sucker. Important internal characters are 2 pairs of mycetomes, 5 pairs of testisacs, confluent gonopores, extensive accessory gland cells on the male atrium and ejaculatory ducts, a spacious coelom consisting of dorsal and ventral sinuses with expansive connections between each at urosome ganglia, and interganglionic expansions of the dorsal sinus. Rhopalobdella japonica from stingrays in Japan is synonymized with P. amara and becomes a subjective junior synonym. This leech is a parasite in the oral cavity of the stingrays Pastinachus sephen and Himantura uarnak in India and Australia, and Dasyatis akajei in Japan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / parasitology
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / veterinary*
  • Fish Diseases / parasitology*
  • India
  • Leeches / anatomy & histology
  • Leeches / classification*
  • Queensland
  • Skates, Fish / parasitology*