A new species of Steringotrema Odhner, 1911 (Trematoda: Fellodistomidae) from the New Zealand sole Peltorhamphus novaezeelandiae Günther off Kaka point in the Catlins, South Island, New Zealand
As a part of a comprehensive survey of macroparasites of commercially exploited fish species off the coast of Otago, New Zealand, the parasite fauna of the New Zealand sole Peltorhamphus novaezeelandiae Günther was recently studied. Steringotrema robertpoulini n. sp. is described from this host and compared with known species of Steringotrema Odhner, 1911. The new species is readily distinguished from all of its congeners, except for S. divergens (Rudolphi, 1809) Odhner, 1911, by having the follicular vitellarium divided in four zones rather than two, and can be differentiated from S. divergens mainly by the posterior extent of the intestinal caeca in the hindbody, as well as by host association and geographical distribution. DNA sequences of the 28S ribosomal gene were generated and phylogenetic analyses were undertaken using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference to assess the phylogenetic position of the new species within the family Fellodistomidae Nicoll, 1909. Analyses included the available sequences for 14 species of the family distributed among eight genera, along with nine species of other members of the order Plagiorchiida La Rue, 1957 as outgroups. The resulting topology shows that the new species of Steringotrema is nested as the sister species of Steringophorus dorsolineatus (Reimer, 1985) Bray, 1995. However, low nodal support indicates that relationships among these species are not fully resolved and require further revision and denser taxon sampling for more detailed molecular work. More information is required to draw further conclusions about the taxonomic status of the genera Steringotrema and Steringophorus Odhner, 1905.
We are grateful to Gavin Heineman (Echo F/V) for specimen collection and to the Department of Botany at the University of Otago for laboratory facilities to enable fish dissections. We also thank David Hernandez for his help obtaining the DNA sequences and conducting the phylogenetic analyses, and Berenit Mendoza for her help processing the specimens as permanent slides. We thank Dr Rod Bray for sharing relevant bibliographical sources that were very useful for completing this paper.
Financial support for this project was generously provided to HSR by the Department of Botany at the University of Otago. TA’s visit to New Zealand was supported financially by the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon and a grant from the Auvergne-Rhônes-Alpes region. Sequencing work and SEM microphotographs were processed with funds from the program PAPIIT-UNAM IN202617 to GPPL.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable institutional, national and international guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All fish were purchased dead from local commercial fisherme; hence no ethical approval was required.
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