Skip to main content Accessibility help

Phylogeny and taxonomy of Potamotrygonocotyle Mayes, Brooks & Thorson, 1981 (Monogenoidea: Monocotylidae) with a description of four new species

  • M.V. Domingues (a1) and F.P.L Marques (a1)


The marine-derived stingrays of Potamotrygonidae, endemic to South American river systems, host an interesting parasite fauna equally related to marine lineages. Among those lineages, the diversity and phylogenetic relationships within Potamotrygonocotyle – a monocotylid monogenoidean specific to potamotrygonids – are poorly known, since 9 of 10 species attributed to this genus have been described in the past 3 years. Here, we readdress the diversity of Potamotrygonocotyle after examining the gills of 436 potamotrygonid individuals representing 12 described and 14 potentially undescribed species of freshwater stingrays from 19 major river systems of South America (i.e. sub-basins). We recognized 12 valid species within the parasite genus, of which four are described in this study. Our taxonomic decisions were based on the phylogenetic analysis of 14 ingroup terminal taxa and 12 morphological characters, which resulted in the following hypothesis of sister-group relationships: ((P. dromedarius, P. tatianae sp. nov.), (P. rionegrense, P. auriculocotyle sp. nov., ((P. quadracotyle, P. umbella), (P. septemcotyle sp. nov., (P. chisholmae, P. uruguayense)), (P. tsalickisi, P. eurypotamoxenus, P. rarum, (P. tocantinsense sp. nov., P. aramasae))))). According to our hypothesis, the absence of autapomorphic features for some nominal species, and the re-evaluation of morphological variation among populations, led us to consider P. eurypotamoxenus and P. uruguayense as junior synonymys of P. tsalicksi and P. chisholmae, respectively. Finally, we address the importance of biogeographic and host representation, in order to fully understand the patterns of morphological variation and host specificity within this group. We found that hypotheses of species delimitation depend greatly on efforts to sample specimens throughout its distributional range and that host specificity within this genus varies dramatically among lineages.


Corresponding author


Hide All
Albert, J.S., Lovejoy, N.R. & Crampton, W.G.R. (2006) Miocene tectonism and the separation of cis- and trans-Andean river basins: Evidence from Neotropical fishes. Journal of South American Earth Sciences 21, 14–11.
Boeger, W.A. & Kritsky, D.C. (2003) Parasites, fossils, geologic history: historical biogeography of the South America freshwater croakers, Plagioscion spp. (Teleostei: Sciaenidae). Zoologica Scripta 32, 311.
Brooks, D.R. (1992) Origins, diversification, and historical structure of the helminth fauna inhabiting Neotropical freshwater stingrays (Potamotrygonidae). Journal of Parasitology 78, 588595.
Brooks, D.R. (1995) Neotropical freshwater stingrays and their parasites: a tale of an ocean and a river long ago. Journal of Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences 7, 5261.
Brooks, D.R. & Amato, J.F.R. (1992) Cestodes parasites in Potamotrygon motoro (Matterer) (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae) from southwestern Brazil, including, Rhinebothroides mclennanae n. sp. (Tetraphyllidea: Phyllobothriidae), and a revised host-parasite checklist for helminths inhabiting Neotropical stringrays. Journal of Parasitology 78, 393398.
Brooks, D.R. & McLennan, D. (1993) Parascript: parasites and the language of evolution. 429 pp. Washington and London, Smithsonian Institution Press.
Brooks, D.R., Thorson, T.B. & Mayes, M.A. (1981) Fresh-water stingrays (Potamotrygonidae) and their helmith parasites: testing hypothesis of evolution and coevolution. pp. 147175in Funk, V.A. & Brooks, D.R. (Eds) Cladists: Proceedings of the First Meeting of the Willi Hennig Society. New York, USA, New York Botanical Garden.
Brooks, D.R., van Veller, M.G.P. & McLennan, D. (2001) How to do BPA, really. Journal of Biogeography 28, 345358.
Bueno, V.M. (2010) Delimitação de espécies em Rhinebothroides Mayes, Brooks & Thorson, 1981 (Cestoda: Tetraphyllidea) com ênfase no complexo Rhinebothroides freitasi (Rego, 1979). Unpublished MSc Thesis, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo.
Bychowsky, B.E. (1957) Monogenetic trematodes. Their systematics and phylogeny. 509 pp. Moscow, The Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Translated from Russian by P.C. Oustinoff in Hargis W.J. Jr (Ed.) Monogenetic trematodes. Their systematics and phylogeny. Washington DC, AIBS.
Caira, J.N. (1990) Metazoan parasites as indicator of elasmobranch biology. pp. 7196in Pratt, H.L., Gruber, S.H. & Taniuchi, T. (Eds) Elasmobranchs as living resources: Advances in the biology, ecology, systematics, and behavior, and the status of fisheries. NOAA Technical Report 90. Seattle, USA, US Department of Commerce.
Caira, J.N. (1994) Parascript: Paragon or parody. Review of Parascript: Parasites and the language of evolution, by D.R. Brooks and D.A. Mclennan. Bioscience 44, 771773.
Caira, J.N., Jensen, K. & Healy, C. (2001) Interrelationships among tetraphyllidean and lecanicephalidean cestodes. pp. 135158in Littlewood, D.T.J. & Bray, R.A. (Eds) Interrelationships of platyhelminthes. The Systematics Association Special Volume Series 60. London, Taylor & Francis.
Carreno, R.A. & Hoberg, E.P. (1999) Evolutionary relationships among the Protostrongylidae (Nematoda: Metastrongyloidea) as inferred from morphological characters, with consideration of parasite-host coevolution. Journal of Parasitology 85, 638648.
Carvalho, M.R. de, Lovejoy, N.R. & Rosa, R.S. (2003) Family Potamotrygonidae. pp. 2229in Reis, R.E., Kullander, S.O. & Ferraris, C.J. (Eds) Checklist of the freshwater fishes of South and Central America (CLOFFSCA). Porto Alegre, Edipucrs.
Carvalho, M.R. de, Maisey, J.G. & Grande, L. (2004) Freshwater stingrays of the Green River Formation of Wyoming (Early Eocene), with the description of a new genus and species and an analysis of its phylogenetic relationships (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatiformes). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, Nova York 284, 1136.
Charvet-Almeida, P. (2001) Ocorrência, Biologia e Uso das Raias de Água Doce na Baía de Marajó (Pará, Brasil), com Ênfase na Biologia de Plesiotrygon iwamae (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae) Dissertação de Mestrado, Belém, Universidade Federal do Pará e Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi.
Chisholm, L.A. & Whittington, I.R. (2000) Heliocotyle ewingi sp. nov. (Monogenea: Monocotylidae) from the gills of Myliobatis australis (Myliobatididae) from Tasmania, Australia. Folia Parasitologica 47, 100104.
Chisholm, L.A. & Whittington, I.R. (2004) Two new species of Myliocotyle (Monogenea: Monocotylidae) from the gills of Aetomylaeus maculates and A. nichofii (Elasmobranchii: Myliobatidae) from Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia. Folia Parasitologica 51, 304310.
Chisholm, L.A., Wheeler, T.A. & Beverley-Burton, M. (1995) A phylogenetic analysis and revised classification of the Monocotylidae Taschenberg, 1879 (Monogenea). Systematic Parasitology 32, 159191.
Deets, G.B. (1987) Phylogenetic analysis and revision of Kroyerina Wilson, 1932 (Sophonostomatoida: Kroyeriidae), copepods parasitic on chondrichthyans, with descriptions of four new species and the erection of a new genus, Prokroyeria. Canadian Journal of Zoology 65, 21212148.
Deynat, P. (2006) Potamotrygon marinae n. sp., a new species of freshwater stingrays from French Guiana (Myliobatiformes, Potamotrygonidae). Comptes Rendus Biologies 329, 483490.
Dolezel, D., Koudela, B., Jirku, M., Hypsa, V., Obornik, M., Votypka, J., Modry, D., Slapeta, J.R. & Lukes, J. (1999) Phylogenetic analysis of Sarcocystis spp. of mammals and reptiles supports the coevolution of Sarcocystis spp. with their final hosts. International Journal for Parasitology 29, 795798.
Domingues, M.V. & Marques, F.P.L. (2007) Revision of Potamotrygonocotyle Mayes, Brooks & Thorson, 1981 (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea, Monocotylidae) with descriptions of four new species from the gills of freshwater stingrays, Potamotrygon spp. (Rajiformes, Potamotrygonidae) from the La Plata river basin. Systematic Parasitology 67, 157174.
Domingues, M.V., Pancera, N.C.M. & Marques, F.P.L. (2007) Monogenoidean parasites of freshwater stingrays (Rajiformes: Potamotrygonidae) from the Rio Negro, Amazon, Brazil: species of Potamotrygonocotyle (Monocotylidae) and Paraheteronchocotyle (Hexabothriidae). Folia Parasitologica 54, 177190.
Domning, D.P. (1982) Evolution of manatees, a speculative history. Journal of Paleontology 56, 599619.
Farris, J.S. (1989) The retention index and rescaled consistency index. Cladistics 5, 417419.
Fink, S.V. & Fink, W.L. (1979) Central Amazonia and its fishes. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 62, 1329.
Géry, J. (1969) The freshwater fishes of South America. pp. 828848in Fittkau, E.J., Illies, J., Klinge, H., Shwabe, G. & Sioli, H. (Eds) Biogeography and ecology in South America. Vol. 2. The Hague, Junk.
Goloboff, P., Farris, J. & Nixon, K. (2008) TNT, a free program for phylogenetic analysis. Cladistics 24, 113.
Grabert, H. (1983) Der Amazonas - Geschichte eines stromes zwischen Pazifik und Atlantic. Natur und Museum 113, 6171.
Hafner, M.S. & Nadler, S.A. (1990) Cospeciation in host-parasite assemblages: comparative analysis of rates of evolution and timing of cospeciation events. Systematic Zoology 39, 192204.
Hoberg, E.P. (1992) Congruence and synchronic patterns in biogeography and speciation among seabirds, pinnipeds, and cestodes. Journal of Parasitology 78, 601615.
Hoberg, E.P., Brooks, D.R., Molina-Ureña, H. & Erbe, E. (1998) Echinocephalus janzeni n. sp. (Nematoda: Gnathostomatidae) in Himantura pacifica (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatiformes) from the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Mexico, with historical biogeographic analysis of the genus. Journal of Parasitology 84, 571581.
Hubert, N. & Renno, J. F. (2006) Historical biogeography of South American freshwater fishes. Journal of Biogeography 33, 14141436.
Humason, G.L. (1979) Animal tissue techniques. 4th edn. 468 pp. San Francisco, USA, W.H. Freeman.
Klassen, G.L. (1992) Coevolution: a history of the macroevolutionary approach to studying host-parasite associations. Journal of Parasitology 78, 573587.
Klassen, G.L. & Beverley-Burton, M. (1988) North American fresh water ancyrocephalids (Monogenea) with articulating haptoral bars: host-parasite coevolution. Systematic Zoology 37, 179189.
Kluge, A.G. & Farris, J.S. (1969) Quantitative phyletics and the evolution of anurans. Systematic Zoology 18, 132.
Llewellyn, J. (1982) Host specifity in monogenetic trematodes. Bulletin de la Société Neuchâteloise des Sciences Naturelles 32, 199212.
Lovejoy, N.R. (1997) Stingrays, parasites and Neotropical biogeography: a closer look at Brooks et al. hypotheses concerning the origins of Neotropical freshwater rays (Potamotrygonidae). Systematic Biology 46, 219230.
Lovejoy, N.R., Bermingham, E. & Martin, A.P. (1998) Marine incursion into South America. Nature 396, 421422.
Lovejoy, N.R., Albert, J.S. & Crampton, W.G.R. (2006) Miocene marine incursions and marine/freshwater transitions: evidence from Neotropical fishes. Journal of South American Earth Science 21, 513.
Lovejoy, N.R., Lester, K., Crampton, W.G.R., Marques, F.P.L. & Albert, J.S. (2010) Phylogeny, biogeography, and electric signal evolution of Neotropical knifefishes of the genus Gymnotus (Osteichthyes: Gymnotidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 54, 278290.
Luchetti, N.M., Marques, F.P.L. & Charvet-Almeida, P. (2008) A new species of Potamotrygonocestus Brooks and Thorson, 1976 (Eucestoda: Tetraphyllidea) from Plesiotrygon iwamae Rosa, Castello and Thorson, 1987 (Mylliobatoidea: Potamotrygonidae) and redescription of Potamotrygonocestus chaoi Marques, Brooks and Araujo, 2003. Systematic Parasitology 70, 131145.
Marlier, G. (1967) Hydrobiology in the Amazon Region. Atas do Simpósio sobre a Biota Amazônica 3, 17.
Marques, F.P.L. (2000) Evolution of Neotropical freshwater stingrays and their parasites: taking into account space and time. PhD Dissertation, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Marques, F.P.L. & Brooks, D.R. (2003) Taxonomic review of Rhinebothroides (Eucestoda: Tetraphyllidea: Phyllobothriidae), parasites of freshwater stingrays (Rajiformes: Myliobatoidei: Potamotrygonidae). Journal of Parasitology 89, 9441017.
Marques, F.P.L., Brooks, D.R. & Araújo, M.L.G. (2003) Systematics and phylogeny of Potamotrygonocestus (Platyhelminthes, Tetraphyllidea, Onchobothriidae) with descriptions of three new species from freshwater potamotrygonids (Myliobatoidea, Potamotrygonidae). Zoologica Scripta 32, 367396.
Metcalf, M.M. (1923) The opalinid ciliate infusorians. Bulletin of the U.S. National Museum 120, 1484.
Metcalf, M.M. (1929) Parasites and the aid they give in problems of taxonomy, geographic distribution, and paleogeography. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collection 81, 136.
Neifar, L., Euzet, L. & Ben Hassine, O.K. (1999a) Myliocotyle pteromylaei gen. et sp. n. (Monogenea: Monocotylidae) parasite branchial de Pteromylaeus bovines (Euselachii: Myliobatinae) en Tunisie. Parasite 6, 323327.
Neifar, L., Euzet, L. & Ben Hassine, O.K. (1999b) Helicotyle kartasi gen. et sp. n. (Monogenea: Monocotylidae) parasitic on Pteromylaeus bovines (Euselachii: Myliobatinae) from Tunisia. Folia Parasitologica 46, 2932.
Nixon, K.C. (1999–2002) WinClada ver. 1.00.08. Published by the author, Ithaca, NY, USA.
Nuttal, C.P. (1990) A review of the Terciary non-marine molluscans faunas of the Pebasian and other inlands basins of north-western South America. Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History (Geology) 45, 165371.
Page, R.D.M. & Charleston, M.A. (1998) Trees within trees: phylogeny and historical associations. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 13, 356359.
Paterson, A.M. & Banks, J. (2001) Analytical approaches to measuring cospeciation of host and parasites: through a glass darkly. International Journal for Parasitology 31, 10121022.
Paterson, A.M., Wallis, G.P., Wallis, L.J. & Gray, R.D. (2000) Seabird and louse coevolution: Complex histories revealed by 12S rRNA sequences and reconciliation analyses. Systematic Biology 49, 383399.
Reis, R.E., Kullander, S.O. & Ferraris, C.J. Jr(Org.) (2003) Check list of the freshwater fishes of South and Central America. 742 pp. Porto Alegre, Brazil, EDIPUCRS.
Reyda, F.B. (2007) Patterns of diversity and host specificity in the cestodes of neotropical freshwater stingrays. PhD Dissertation, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut.
Ribeiro, A.C. (2006) Tectonic history and the biogeography of the freshwater fishes from the coastal drainages of eastern Brazil: an example of faunal evolution associated with a divergent continental margin. Neotropical Ichthyology 4, 225246.
Roberts, T.R. (1972) Ecology of fishes in the Amazon and Congo Basin. Bulletin of Museum of Comparative Zoology 143, 117142.
Rosa, R.S., Menezes, N.A., Britski, H.A., Costa, W.J.E.M. & Groth, F. (2003) Diversidade, padrões de distribuição e conservação dos peixes da Caatinga. pp. 135180in Leal, I.R., Tabarelli, M. & da Silva, J.M.C. (Eds) (Org.)Ecologia e conservação da Caatinga. 1st edn. São Paulo, Editora Universitária UFPE.
Rosa, R.S., de Carvalho, M.R. & Wanderley, C.A. (2008) Potamotrygon boesemani (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatiformes: Potamotrygonidae), a new species of neotropical freshwater stingray from Surinam. Neotropical Ichthyology 6, 18.
Straney, D.O. (1982) Review of: Advances in cladistics. Systematic Zoology 31, 337341.
Thorson, T.B., Brooks, D.R. & Mayes, M.A. (1983) The evolution of freshwater adaptation in stingrays. National Geographic Society, Research Reports 15, 663694.
von Ihering, H. (1891) On the ancient relations between New Zealand and South America. Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of the New Zealand Institute 24, 431445.
von Ihering, H. (1902) Die helminthen als Hilfsmittel der zoogeographischen Forschung. Zoologischer Anzeiger 26, 4251.
Webb, S. (1995) Biological implications of the Mid-Miocene seaway. Science 268, 361362.
Zamparo, D., Brooks, D.R. & Barriga, R. (1999) Pararhinebothroides hobergi n. gen. n. sp. (Eucestoda: Tetraphyllidea) in Urobatis tumbesensis (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatiformes) from Coastal Ecuador. Journal of Parasitology 85, 534539.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Helminthology
  • ISSN: 0022-149X
  • EISSN: 1475-2697
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-helminthology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed