Systematic Parasitology

, Volume 96, Issue 7, pp 527–552 | Cite as

Re-examination of the phylogenetic relationships within the Gyliauchenidae Fukui, 1929 (Digenea) based on morphological and molecular evidence with a proposal for Paragyliaucheninae n. subfam. and a description of Flagellotrema convolutum Ozaki, 1936

  • Yasser F. M. Karar
  • Charles K. BlendEmail author
  • Refaat M. A. Khalifa
  • Hemely Abdel-Shafy Hassan
  • Hoda S. Mohamadain
  • Norman O. Dronen
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Digenea


Flagellotrema convolutum Ozaki, 1936 was found parasitising the intestine of two new host fish species, the Indian sail-fin surgeonfish, Zebrasoma desjardinii (Bennett) (Acanthuridae), and the Picasso triggerfish, Rhinecanthus assasi (Forsskål) (Balistidae), from the northern Red Sea off Egypt. Another description of this species is provided with detailed morphological observations made of the genital systems. Using newly acquired molecular data from the D1–D3 regions of 28S rDNA, the phylogenetic relationships of subfamilies and genera within the Gyliauchenidae Fukui, 1929 are elucidated with morphological support. The Petalocotylinae Ozaki, 1934 and the Robphildollfusiinae Paggi & Orecchia, 1963 are recognized as valid subfamilies within the Gyliauchenidae. The Apharyngogyliaucheninae Yamaguti, 1942 and the Ichthyotreminae Caballero & Bravo-Hollis, 1952 remain junior synonyms of the Gyliaucheninae Fukui, 1929. Based on its unique position relative to all gyliauchenid subfamilies and its distinct separation from all other gyliauchenine genera, the Paragyliaucheninae n. subfam. is erected to contain Paragyliauchen Yamaguti, 1934. Paragyliauchen differs from all other gyliauchenine genera by having a pharynx differentiated into two, well-developed muscular regions: an anterior region composed of a ring with indented projections anteriorly and a posterior region that is ellipsoidal or barrel-shaped. Modified and/or new keys to the four subfamilies we recognize within the Gyliauchenidae as well as the genera within each subfamily are presented, and we discuss the evolutionary development and etymology of the unique anatomy of the anterior of gyliauchenids.



We are grateful to the Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, South Valley University, Qena, Egypt, for the cooperation and help given to YFMK including the Central Laboratory there for providing and lending instruments, tools and requested materials for molecular work. We thank Dr Tom Cribb, University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia, and the Interlibrary Loan Division of the Evans Library, Texas A&M University, who provided YFMK and NOD needed literature. Mrs Eileen Harris, Senior Curator, The Natural History Museum, London, UK, kindly accessioned deposited specimens of F. convolutum. The extended loan of microscopes and other equipment to CKB by Gordon College, Wenham, Massachusetts, as well as support by the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, Corpus Christi, Texas, remains greatly appreciated. Comments by the reviewer and editor were quite beneficial in improving this paper.

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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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Faculty of SciencesSouth Valley UniversityQenaEgypt
  2. 2.Corpus Christi Museum of Science & HistoryCorpus ChristiUSA
  3. 3.Department of Medical Parasitology, Faculty of MedicineAssiut UniversityAssiutEgypt
  4. 4.Laboratory of Parasitology, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries SciencesTexas A &M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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