Two New Species of Homalometron (Digenea: Apocreadiidae) From Nearctic Freshwater Fundulids, Elucidation of the Life Cycle of H. Cupuloris, and Molecular Phylogenetic Analysis of Some Congeners

J Parasitol. 2016 Feb;102(1):94-104. doi: 10.1645/15-862. Epub 2015 Nov 5.

Abstract

Two species of digeneans belonging in Homalometron are described from Nearctic freshwater fundulid fishes: Homalometron robisoni n. sp. is described from the Blackstripe Topminnow, Fundulus notatus, from Oklahoma and Homalometron frocioneae n. sp. is described from the Banded Killifish, Fundulus diaphanus, from New York. Homalometron robisoni n. sp. differs from all congeners by having vitelline follicles that extend into the forebody, a feature that necessitates altering the generic diagnosis for the genus. Homalometron frocioneae n. sp. may be distinguished from North and Middle American congeners by the position of the intestinal bifurcation (relatively more posterior in the forebody than in other species) and tegumental spine coverage on the body (spines are absent from the posterior body extremity and on most of the dorsal surface). Comparison of ribosomal DNA (ITS 1 and 2 regions, 5.8S gene, and partial fragment of 28S gene) from the 2 new species and some congeners from the Western Hemisphere provided evidence for the validity of the 2 new species and affirmed a close relationship between H. robisoni n. sp. and Homalometron pallidum. Comparison of ribosomal DNA from newly collected Homalometron spp. and larval stages of an apocreadiid from brackish water hydrobiid snails (cercariae in rediae in Littoridinops palustris and metacercariae in L. palustris and Amnicola limosa ) from a tidal river in Mississippi revealed that larval stages represented Homalometron cupuloris. A phylogeny based on Bayesian inference analysis using partial 28S rDNA gene fragments from 14 species of Homalometron (all from the Western Hemisphere) and 1 megaperine and rooted by a second megaperine was conducted and produced a strongly supported phylogram that estimates the interrelationships among species. The estimated phylogeny suggests that ecological factors such as salinity and food web interactions between species of Homalometron, intermediate hosts, and fishes drive coevolutionary forces influencing speciation within Homalometron.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bayes Theorem
  • DNA, Helminth / chemistry
  • DNA, Ribosomal / chemistry
  • Fish Diseases / parasitology*
  • Fresh Water
  • Fundulidae / parasitology*
  • Life Cycle Stages
  • Mississippi
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 28S / genetics
  • Trematoda / classification*
  • Trematoda / genetics
  • Trematoda / growth & development
  • Trematode Infections / parasitology
  • Trematode Infections / veterinary*

Substances

  • DNA, Helminth
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 28S