, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 219-229

Two new species of Acanthobothrium Beneden, 1849 (Tetraphyllidea: Onchobothriidae) from horn sharks in the Gulf of California, Mexico

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Abstract

Between 1993 and 1996, 26 individuals of two species of horn sharks were collected from the upper Gulf of California and their spiral intestines examined for onchobothriid tapeworms. Heterodontus francisci was found to host Acanthobothrium puertecitense n. sp. Based on the criteria of Ghoshroy & Caira (2001), this is a Category 4 species (with >15mm total length, >50 proglottids, >80 testes and a symmetrical ovary). It differs from the four Category 4 species previously reported from either the western Atlantic or eastern Pacific Oceans, including A. bajaense (emend.) which was described from H. francisci, in hook-shape, total length, number of proglottids, number of testes and number of columns of vitelline follicles. H. mexicanus was found to host Acanthobothrium santarosaliense n. sp., which, based on the criteria of Ghoshroy & Caira (2001) is a Category 3 species (with >15mm total length, >50 proglottids, >80 testes and an asymmetrical ovary). A. santarosaliense differs from the five Category 3 species previously reported from either the western Atlantic or eastern Pacific Oceans in its size, euapolytic nature, lack of dark matrix from the bases of the hooks, hook-shape, and distribution and number of testes. In addition to the difference in ovarian symmetry, A. puertecitense possesses fewer testes, fewer proglottids, is a shorter worm, possesses a more anterior genital pore and vitelline follicles which extend further forward anteriorly than in A. santarosaliense. This represents the first report of onchobothriids from H. mexicanus and the first report of onchobothriids from H. francisci in the Gulf of California. The apparent host-specificity of both new species should be viewed with caution until a greater sample of host individuals of both species can be examined. The fact that both new tapeworm species are known only from the Gulf is also considered to be a preliminary result, given the small sample of host individuals examined from these regions to date. This brings the total number of species of Heterodontus known to host Acanthobothrium to four and the total number of Acanthobothrium species described from heterodontiform sharks to five.