Systematic Parasitology

, Volume 93, Issue 7, pp 679–700 | Cite as

Species of Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832 (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea) from cichlids from Zambezi and Limpopo river basins in Zimbabwe and South Africa: evidence for unexplored species richness

  • Petra Zahradníčková
  • Maxwell Barson
  • Wilmien J. Luus-Powell
  • Iva PřikrylováEmail author


New findings on Gyrodactylus spp. parasitising African cichlids in southern Africa are presented, comprising data from Zimbabwe and South Africa. Morphometry of opisthaptoral hard parts in combination with nuclear ribosomal DNA sequences confirmed the presence of six species of Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832. Three new species are described from fishes in Zimbabwe: Gyrodactylus chitandiri n. sp. from the gill arches of Coptodon rendalli (Boulenger) and Pseudocrenilabrus philander (Weber); Gyrodactylus occupatus n. sp. from the fins of Oreochromis niloticus (L.), Pharyngochromis acuticeps (Steindachner) and P. philander; and Gyrodactylus parisellei n. sp. from the fins of O. niloticus, P. philander and Tilapia sp. Gyrodactylus nyanzae Paperna, 1973 was also identified from the gills of O. niloticus and C. rendalli collected from two localities in Zimbabwe; these findings represent new host and locality records for this parasite. Gyrodactylus sturmbaueri Vanhove, Snoeks, Volckaert & Huyse, 2011 was identified from P. philander collected in South Africa and Zimbabwe thereby providing new host and locality records for this parasite. Finally, Gyrodactylus yacatli García-Vásquez, Hansen, Christison, Bron & Shinn, 2011 was collected from the fins of O. niloticus and P. philander studied in Zimbabwe; this represents the first record of this species from the continent of Africa. Notably, this study improves upon the knowledge of Gyrodactylus spp. parasitising cichlids from these southern African regions. All species studied were recorded from at least two different cichlid host species indicating trend for a wide range of Gyrodactylus hosts in Africa. Accordingly, this supports the idea of intensive host switching in the course of their evolution.


Internal Transcribe Spacer Male Copulatory Organ Intestinal Caecum Marginal Hook African Cichlid 
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.



We thank the staff of the University of Zimbabwe Lake Kariba Research Station for their field assistance in the collection of samples. Professor M. Gelnar (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic) is gratefully acknowledged for hosting the morphological and molecular processing of the material analysed. Thanks are also due to Professor P.A.S. Olivier (University of Limpopo, South Africa) for his comments on a previous draft of the manuscript.


This research was funded by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (grant number P505/11/P470 and GBP505/12/G112-ECIP). The fieldwork in South Africa was funded by the Biodiversity Research Chair (University of Limpopo).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution at which the studies were conducted.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petra Zahradníčková
    • 1
  • Maxwell Barson
    • 2
  • Wilmien J. Luus-Powell
    • 3
  • Iva Přikrylová
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of ScienceMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of ZimbabweHarareZimbabwe
  3. 3.Department of BiodiversityUniversity of LimpopoSovengaSouth Africa
  4. 4.Water Research Group, School of for Environmental Sciences and DevelopmentNorth West UniversityPotchefstroomSouth Africa

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