Systematic Parasitology

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 81–90 | Cite as

Two new tapeworms from the goblin shark Mitsukurina owstoni off Australia

  • J. N. Caira
  • L. S. Runkle


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.


White Shark Vitelline Follicle Excretory Duct Shark Species Mature Segment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brooks, D.R., Hoberg, E.P. & Weekes, P.J. (1991) Preliminary phylogenetic systematic analysis of the major lineages of the Eucestoda (Platyhelminthes: Cercomeria) Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 104, 651–668.Google Scholar
  2. Compagno, L. (1984) FAO species catalogue. Vol. 4, Parts 1 and 2: Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. FAO Fisheries Synopsis, 125, 655 pp.Google Scholar
  3. Compagno, L. (1990) Relationships of the megamouth shark, Megachasma pelagios (Lamniformes: Megachasmidae), with comments on its feeding habits. In: Elasmobranchs as living resources: advances in the biology, ecology, systematics, and the status of the fisheries. NOAA Technical Report. NMFS, 90, 357–380.Google Scholar
  4. Dailey, M. (1969) Litobothrium alopias and L. coniformis, two new cestodes representing a new order from elasmobranch fishes. Proceedings of the Helminthological Society of Washington, 36, 218–224.Google Scholar
  5. Dailey, M. (1971) Litobothrium gracile sp. n. (Eucestoda: Litobothridea) from the sand shark (Odontaspis ferox). Journal of Parasitology, 57, 94–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dailey, M. & Vogelbein, W. (1990) Clistobothrium carcharodoni gen. et. sp. n. (Cestoda: Tetraphyllidea) from the spiral valve of the Great White Shark (Charcharodon charcharias). Journal of the Helminthological Society of Washington, 57, 108–112.Google Scholar
  7. Euzet, L. (1959) Recherches sur les cestodes Tetraphyllides de selaciens des côtes de France. DSc Thesis, University of Montpellier: Causse, Graille & Castelneau, 263 pp.Google Scholar
  8. Kurochkin, Y. B. & Slenkis, A.Y. (1973) New representatives and the composition of the order Litobothridea Dailey, 1969 (Cestoidea). Parazitologiya, 7, 502–508. (In Russian)Google Scholar
  9. Linton, E. (1922a) A new cestode from the maneater and mackerel sharks. Proceedings of the United States National Museum, 61, 1–16.Google Scholar
  10. Linton, E. (1922b) A contribution to the anatomy of Dinobothrium, a genus of selachian tapeworms; with descriptions of two new species. Proceedings of the United States National Museum, 60, 1–13.Google Scholar
  11. Riser, N.W. (1955) Studies on cestode parasites of sharks and skates. Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science, 30, 265–311.Google Scholar
  12. Schmidt, G. (1986) CRC handbook of tapeworm identification. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 675 pp.Google Scholar
  13. Stevens, J.D. & Paxton, J.R. (1985) A new record of the goblin shark; Mitsukurina owstoni family Mitsukurinidae), from eastern Australia. Proceedings of the Linnaean Society of New South Wales, 108, 39–45.Google Scholar
  14. Yamaguti, S. (1952) Studies on the helminth fauna of Japan. XLIX. Cestodes of fishes. II. Acta Medicinae Okayama, 8, 1–78.Google Scholar
  15. Wojciechowska, A. (1991) Some tetraphyllidean and diphyllidean cestodes from Antarctic batoid fishes. Acta Parasitologica Polonica, 36, 69–74.Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations