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Opistholobetines (Digenea: Opecoelidae) in Australian tetraodontiform fishes


Opistholebetine opecoelids are reported following examination of 1,041 individual tetraodontiform fishes, comprising 60 species and seven families, collected in Australian waters between 1986 and 2018. Nine species consistent with Opistholebes Nicoll, 1915, Heterolebes Ozaki, 1935 or Maculifer Nicoll, 1915 were recovered. However, phylogenetic analysis of sequence data, generated for some of these species, suggested that five genera, not three, are required to adequately accommodate these taxa. Thus, the concept and composition for each is revised, Pseudoheterolebes Yamaguti, 1959 nec Gupta, 1968 is resurrected and Parallelolebes n. g. is proposed. Of the nine species examined, five are new. Four new species are from fishes endemic to subtropical and temperate Australian waters for which no trematodes have previously been reported: Pa. australis n. sp. and Ps. corazonae n. sp. from the slender-spined porcupinefish Diodon nicthemerus Cuvier (Diodontidae) off Stanley, Tasmania; Pa. virilis n. sp. from the horse-shoe leatherjacket Meuschenia hippocrepis (Quoy & Gaimard) (Monacanthidae) off Stanley; and Ps. stellaglobulus n. sp. from the threebar pocupinefish Dicotylichthys punctulatus Kaup (Diodontidae) in Moreton Bay, south-east Queensland. The fifth new species is M. diodontis n. sp., collected from the spotted porcupinefish Diodon hystrix Linnaeus and the blackblotched porcupinefish D. liturosus Shaw, in tropical waters on the Great Barrier Reef. Species reported previously include the type-species of Opistholebes, O. amplicoelus Nicoll, 1915 from the rough golden puffer Lagocephalus lunaris (Bloch & Schneider) (Tetraodontidae) and the common toadfish Tetractenos hamiltoni (Richardson) (Tetraodontidae) in Moreton Bay, and three species reported for the first time from fishes in Australian waters: H. maculosus Ozaki, 1935, Pa. elongatus Ozaki, 1937 n. comb. and Ps. diodontis (Cable, 1956) n. comb., each from both D. hystrix and D. liturosus on the Great Barrier Reef. Following the revisions, Opistholebes is recognised for two species, Heterolebes for five, Maculifer for eight, Pseudoheterolebes for five and Parallelolebes for three.

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The authors thank the staff of the Heron Island, Lizard Island, and Moreton Bay Research Stations for their support, the various students and colleagues who helped collect fishes and specimens, and two anonymous reviewers for improving the manuscript.


SBM is supported by a Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment, administered by the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA), an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) and an Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) National Taxonomy Research Grant Programme (NTRGP) Ph. D. scholarship (No. CT215-14). Collection within Moreton Bay was part of a larger effort to characterise the metazoan parasite fauna of fishes from that region, funded by an ABRS grant (RF215-40) awarded to SCC and THC.

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Martin, S.B., Ribu, D., Cutmore, S.C. et al. Opistholobetines (Digenea: Opecoelidae) in Australian tetraodontiform fishes. Syst Parasitol 95, 743–781 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11230-018-9826-9

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