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The taxonomic status of Spatulifer cf. maringaensis Pavanelli & Rego, 1989 (Eucestoda: Proteocephalidea) from Sorubim lima (Bloch & Schneider) (Pisces: Siluriformes), and the use of the microthrix pattern in the discrimination of Spatulifer spp.

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de Chambrier & Vaucher (1999) compared the proteocephalidean cestode Spatulifer maringaensis Pavanelli & Rego, 1989 from Hemisorubim platyrhynchos (Valenciennes) with similar specimens, which they described as S. cf. maringaensis, parasitising Sorubim lima (Bloch & Schneider) collected in the Paraná and Paraguay Rivers. No remarkable differences between these worms were found by these authors, except for the scolex diameter and a different infection rate in each fish host. In order to elucidate the taxonomic status of the fish cestode Spatulifer cf. maringaensis from Sorubim lima, type and voucher material of S. maringaensis from H. platyrhynchos, and voucher and new material recently collected from Sorubim lima in Argentina are described in terms of their internal morphology and tegumental surface. During the study, mature and gravid worms with smaller metascoleces were found among voucher specimens from both hosts and in the new material from S. lima. The number of testes in the type-material was difficult to assess, but it could be determined in the voucher material from the type-host as being within the range of the specimens from S. lima. Both taxa are morphologically identical and can therefore be considered as conspecific. The data on their parasitological indices support the idea that S. lima is the principal final host and H. platyrhynchos is a secondary final host. Spatulifer maringaensis is widespread throughout the Paraná basin. A comparison of the microthrix pattern of S. maringaensis with that of S. rugosa (Woodland, 1935) revealed that they have the same type of microtriches, but with a different distribution, size and density. Tumuli were observed for the first time in a Neotropical taxon. Some studies have shown that the microthrix pattern is useful for characterising and discriminating species of the Proteocephalidea, and it was used herein as a tool for determining the conspecificity of S. cf. maringaensis with S. maringaensis.

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The authors thank Dr Luíz C. Muniz Pereira (curator of the Helminthological Collection, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) for loan of the type-material and Dr Alain de Chambrier (assistant curator of the Invertebrate Collection, Museum of Natural History, Geneva, Switzerland) for loan of voucher material and for allowing us to study two scoleces by SEM. Special thanks are also due to the two anonymous referees for their valuable comments that helped to improve this manuscript. This research was supported by CONICET (Grant PIP No. 5974) and the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBACyT-X004), Argentina.

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Correspondence to Alicia A. Gil de Pertierra.

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Arredondo, N.J., Gil de Pertierra, A.A. The taxonomic status of Spatulifer cf. maringaensis Pavanelli & Rego, 1989 (Eucestoda: Proteocephalidea) from Sorubim lima (Bloch & Schneider) (Pisces: Siluriformes), and the use of the microthrix pattern in the discrimination of Spatulifer spp.. Syst Parasitol 70, 223 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11230-008-9142-x

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  • River Basin
  • Vitelline Follicle
  • Osmoregulatory Canal
  • Mature Proglottid
  • Voucher Material