Systematic Parasitology

, Volume 86, Issue 2, pp 125–151 | Cite as

Five new species of dicyemid mesozoans (Dicyemida: Dicyemidae) from two Australian cuttlefish species, with comments on dicyemid fauna composition

  • Sarah R. CatalanoEmail author


Five new species of dicyemid mesozoans in two genera are described from two Australian cuttlefish species, Sepia apama Gray (giant Australian cuttlefish) and S. novaehollandiae Hoyle (nova cuttlefish): Dicyema coffinense n. sp. from S. apama collected from Coffin Bay, South Australia (SA), Australia; D. koinonum n. sp. from S. apama and S. novaehollandiae collected from Gulf St Vincent (GSV) and Spencer Gulf (SG), SA, Australia; D. multimegalum n. sp. from S. apama collected from Cronulla and North Bondi, New South Wales, Australia; D. vincentense n. sp. from S. novaehollandiae collected from GSV, SA, Australia; and Dicyemennea spencerense n. sp. from S. novaehollandiae and S. apama collected from SG, SA, Australia. Totals of 51 S. apama and 27 S. novaehollandiae individuals were examined, of which all except for four S. apama were infected by at least one dicyemid species. Dicyemid parasites were also observed in host individuals that were held in tanks for 2–3 months prior to examination, including nematogen-exclusive infections, leading to questions about persistence of dicyemids after host death and the mechanism responsible for the switch between a nematogen phase and a rhombogen phase. Variations in host size, calotte shape and collection locality are explored as predictors of differences in observed composition of the parasite fauna. In particular, dicyemid parasite fauna varied with host collection locality. As these parasites are highly host-species specific, their use as biological tags to assess cephalopod population structure using a combined morphological and molecular approach is discussed. This study increases the number of dicyemid species described from Australian cephalopods from five to ten, and from 117 to 122 species described worldwide.


Peripheral Cell Axial Cell South Australia Mantle Length Infusoriform Embryo 
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.



I thank Kate Hutson, Richard Saunders, Brian Saunders and Kieran Brazell for assistance in sample collections from Coffin Bay, and Bernadette Saunders for keeping us all well nourished! Thanks are due to Cameron Dixon and Graham Hooper at the South Australian Research and Development Institute for organising prawn trawl survey trips in Spencer Gulf and Gulf St Vincent, and to Alex Schnell and Dave Barker for material from New South Wales and allowing me to visit the Cronulla Fisheries Research Centre. All research was conducted with approval from the University of Adelaide Animal Ethics Committee (# S-2010-116) and according to Primary Industries and Resources SA S115 Ministerial Exemptions (# 9902264 and # 9902398). Funding for this project has been provided by the Australian Society for Parasitology, Norman Wettenhall Foundation, Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment, Sir Mark Mitchell Research Foundation, Lirabenda Endowment Fund, Nature Foundation South Australia, Nature Conservation Society of South Australia and Australian Federation of University Women South Australia. I am grateful to my supervisors Bronwyn Gillanders (University of Adelaide, UA), Steve Donnellan (The South Australian Museum, SAMA, and UA) and Ian Whittington (SAMA and UA) for their constructive comments on earlier drafts, and thanks are due to Tim Benson for his continual support. SRC is funded by an Australian Postgraduate Award.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marine Parasitology Laboratory, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences DX 650 418University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Southern Seas Ecology LaboratoriesUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.Evolutionary Biology UnitSouth Australian MuseumAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and BiodiversityUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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