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First report of a gryporhynchid tapeworm (Cestoda: Cyclophyllidea) from New Zealand and from an eleotrid fish, described from metacestodes and in vitro-grown worms

  • B. Presswell (a1), R. Poulin (a1) and H.S. Randhawa (a1)

Abstract

Metacestodes are often found in the body cavity of the common bully (Gobiomorphus cotidianus McDowall), from freshwater habitats in Otago, New Zealand. Identification of metacestodes relies only on the number, size and shape of the rostellar hooks. To attempt species determination, we cultivated metacestodes in vitro for up to 23 days, during which they matured to at least the male stage of development, although female organs were not discernable. Identified as members of the genus Paradilepis Hsü, 1935 (family Gryporhynchidae), these specimens are compared to previously described species, in particular P. minima (Goss, 1940), from Australia, the closest species, both geographically and morphologically. Although the size of scolex, suckers and proglottids differ significantly from those of P. minima, we are cautious about interpreting ‘adults’ grown in vitro, because we are unsure whether the artificial conditions alter development. For this reason, and because of the lack of female organs, we refrain from erecting a new species, and refer to the specimens as Paradilepis cf. minima until such time as the adults are found in the definitive host. With this proviso we present here a description of the in vitro-grown worms and the metacestodes as a preliminary study of this cestode. A molecular analysis of small subunit (SSU) rDNA sequences, shows the position of P. cf. minima and another gryporhynchid, Neogryporhynchus cheilancristrotus (Wedl, 1855), to be equivocal, but confirms their exclusion from the Dilepididae and Hymenolepididae. This is the first record of a gryporhynchid from New Zealand, and the first from the fish family Eleotridae.

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