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Dactylogyrids from African tetras - morphological and molecular analyses

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Year of publication 2015
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description African tetras (Characiformes: Alestidae) are known to harbor monogenean species belonging to three dactylogyrid genera, i.e. Annulotrema (39 species), Characidotrema (10 species) and Afrocleidodiscus (1 species). Our survey of monogeneans found on the gills of 4 species (3 genera, i.e. Alestes, Hydrocynus and Brycinus) of tetras from Lake Turkana, Kenya, revealed the presence of four new and four previously described species of Annulotrema: A. alestesnursi Paperna, 1973 (from Brycinus nurse); A. ansatum n. sp., A. besalis Řehulková, Musilová and Gelnar, 2014, A. bipatens n. sp., A. cucullatum n. sp., A. nili Paperna, 1973, and A. pontile n. sp. (from Hydrocynus forskahlii); and A. elongata Paperna and Thurston, 1969 (from Alestes baremoze and Alestes dentex). Annulotrema elongata was re-described on the basis of new material from A. baremoze. Hydrocynus forskahlii was found as a new host for A. besalis. The findings of A. besalis and A. elongata in Kenya represent a new locality records for these helminths [1]. During taxonomic evaluation of monogeneans collected from the gills of Hydrocynus vittatus from Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe, 4 species of Annulotrema and 1 species of Afrocleidodiscus were found. Three of the dactylogyrid species are probably new to science [2]. Morphological analysis of sclerotized structures of the Annulotrema species examined suggests that there are at least 3 morpho-groups within these parasites, with regard to the basic structure of the male copulatory organ (MCO). The division into three groups based on morphological criterions was also supported by the results of the phylogenetic analysis using 28S rDNA sequences [3] (Fig.1). However, a wider range of sampling from other species of the Allestidae will be needed to evaluate the phylogenetic importance of the morphology of the MCO in order to elucidating relationships among species within dactylogyrids parasitizing African tetras.
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