Systematic Parasitology

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 81–90

Two new tapeworms from the goblin shark Mitsukurina owstoni off Australia

  • J. N. Caira
  • L. S. Runkle

DOI: 10.1007/BF00009215

Cite this article as:
Caira, J.N. & Runkle, L.S. Syst Parasitol (1993) 26: 81. doi:10.1007/BF00009215


Internal parasites are reported from the goblin shark Mitsukurina owstoni for the first time. The shark examined was a 190 kg male collected off of Ulladulla, New South Wales, Australia and deposited at the Australian Museum in Sydney. What appear to be 4 different species of tapeworms were recovered from the spiral intestine. These included two new species, Litobothrium amsichensis n. sp. (order Litobothridea) and Marsupiobothrium gobelinus n. sp. (order Tetraphyllidea), as well as one specimen of a trypanorhynch and one scolex of a second tetraphyllidean. The latter two species are unidentifiable without further material. The generic placement of the new tetraphyllidean is somewhat problematical; this genus was thought to be the most appropriate placement at present. The most conspicuous difference between the new litobothridean and the five other species in the order is that it possesses dorso-ventral projections on five rather than four or three anterior segments. The discovery of a litobothridean parasitising the goblin shark is consistent with the systematic placement of the Mitsukurinidae within the Lamniformes, and may preliminarily indicate close affinities between the Alopidae, Odontaspidae and Mitsukurinidae. The phyllobothriid differs from the five other species of Marsupiobothrium in its possession of extremely long bothridial peduncles, its lack of an arcuate cylindrical pad on the posterior bothridial margins and its possession of a marginal, distinct apical sucker rather than a submarginal, diffuse apical sucker on each bothridium. Four detached specimens of the new phyllobothriid retained tips of mucosal villi within their bothridia. From these specimens it appears that the peduncles allow this species to stretch its scolex for attachment to up to four villi simultaneously.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. N. Caira
    • 1
  • L. S. Runkle
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyThe University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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