First record of a ‘fish’ blood fluke Digenea Aporocotylidae from a marine mammal Cardicola dhangali n. sp. CQU.pdf (1.08 MB)
First record of a ‘fish’ blood fluke (Digenea: Aporocotylidae) from a marine mammal: Cardicola dhangali n. sp.
Version 2 2022-10-14, 00:51
Version 1 2021-01-17, 10:14
journal contributionposted on 2022-10-14, 00:51 authored by KS Hutson, David VaughanDavid Vaughan, D Blair
We describe the first known blood fluke from a marine mammal, the dugong, Dugong dugon (Sirenia: Dugongidae), which represents a new species of aporocotylid, Cardicola dhangali n. sp. (Digenea: Aporocotylidae). Eggs presumed to be of blood flukes have been previously reported from dugongs. This exciting discovery raises questions regarding evolution and host-switching in the Aporocotylidae, which prior to this study were only known to infect actinopterygian and chondrichthyan fishes. The new species has male and female genital pores opening on the right side of the body, with the male genital pore opening posterior to the entire reproductive system and the testis is extra-caecal. The uterus is highly convoluted, and the ovary is irregularly lobate. These features, together with the size and number of the tegumental spines per row, easily distinguish the new species from the most similar congeners Cardicola aurata Holzer et al., 2008, Cardicola chaetodontis Yamaguti, 1970, Cardicola currani Bullard and Overstreet, 2004, Cardicola forsteri Cribb et al., 2000, C. jiingurru Yong et al., 2016, and Cardicola palmeri Bullard and Overstreet, 2004, all of which infect actinopterygian fishes. Given that Cardicola is the most diverse and least host-specific of the marine aporoctoylid genera, it seems credible that a successful host-switch has occurred from an actinopterygian to D. dugon. Further sampling of sirenians and other marine mammals is warranted to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the evolutionary biology and biodiversity of the blood flukes (superfamily Schistosomatoidea Stiles and Hassall, 1898), but presents a substantial challenge with respect to their conservation status and large size.
Number of Pages6
Additional RightsCC BY-NC-ND 4.0
External Author AffiliationsCawthron Institute, NZ; James Cook University