Systematic Parasitology

, Volume 94, Issue 9, pp 941–970 | Cite as

Patterns of specificity and diversity in species of Paraorygmatobothrium Ruhnke, 1994 (Cestoda: Phyllobothriidae) in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia, with the description of four new species

  • Scott C. CutmoreEmail author
  • Michael B. Bennett
  • Terrence L. Miller
  • Thomas H. Cribb
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Cestoda


A survey of tapeworms of galeomorph sharks from Moreton Bay (Queensland, Australia) identified a complex of species of Paraorygmatobothrium Ruhnke, 1994 infecting 11 carcharhiniform and two orectolobiform species. Combined morphological and multi-locus molecular analyses (based on the 28S nuclear ribosomal RNA and partial mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 genes) revealed the presence of 12 species of Paraorygmatobothrium; four species (Paraorygmatobothrium christopheri n. sp., P. harti n. sp., P. sinclairtaylori n. sp. and P. ullmanni n. sp.) are considered to be new to science and are formally described, four represent known species, and four lack sufficient morphological data to allow definitive identification. In contrast to previous records for the genus, four of the species found in this study exhibited low host specificity [P. orectolobi (Butler, 1987) Ruhnke, 2011, P. sinclairtaylori, P. ullmanni and Paraorygmatobothrium sp. 3], three stenoxenic species were each found in two closely-related sharks (P. orectolobi, P. ullmanni and Paraorygmatobothrium sp. 3) and one euryxenic species was found in five species from two shark families (P. sinclairtaylori). One species was found to exhibit mild morphologically plasticity (P. orectolobi), with size range being associated with different shark species. Conversely, collections of almost morphologically indistinguishable specimens from single shark species were found to represent multiple species of Paraorygmatobothrium. The findings of this study indicate that the description of species of this genus on the basis of morphological data alone is problematic and that the inclusion of multi-locus molecular data is essential for future work on Paraorygmatobothrium. Host specificity, morphology and phylogenetic relatedness of species of Paraorygmatobothrium are explored.



We thank Drs Stephen Taylor, Nathan Hart and Jeremy F.P. Ullmann and John Page, Dave Thompson, Tane Sinclair-Taylor and Joanna Stead, for their assistance in the collection of elasmobranch specimens. We thank Dr Susan Theiss for her assistance in the production of SEM images and Dr Tim Ruhnke for providing primers for nad1 sequencing. We also thank the Queensland Shark Control Program for access to the spiral valve of a Carcharias taurus, caught off Rainbow Beach, Queensland, Australia.


THC and SCC acknowledge the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) for their ongoing support. This study was funded by the ABRS National Taxonomy Research Grant RF215-40.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable institutional, national and international guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott C. Cutmore
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michael B. Bennett
    • 2
  • Terrence L. Miller
    • 3
  • Thomas H. Cribb
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Queensland, School of Biological SciencesBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.The University of Queensland, School of Biomedical SciencesBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Fish Health LaboratoryDepartment of FisheriesSouth PerthAustralia

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