Abstract

Six new species of Leptorhynchoides from the southeastern United States are described. These new species were once part of the Leptorhynchoides thecatus complex of species that was previously recognized on the basis of DNA sequence data. Multivariate morphometric analysis including discriminant function analysis and decision tree analysis indicated that each of the species is morphologically distinct. Both analyses classified more than 90% of specimens correctly and most misclassifications occurred between members of 2 pairs of species that are morphologically similar. The most discriminating continuous characters were: trunk length, number of longitudinal rows of hooks, length of the longest hook, and testes width. Hook asymmetry and missing hooks on the proboscis were also important taxonomic characters. The discriminant function and the decision tree generated from the data were used to classify new specimens, yielding a 96% and 84% correct classification rate, respectively. The new taxonomic designations account for much of the previously recognized variability in host use, habitat use, and development as determined by survey data. With the addition of these 6 new taxa, 10 species currently are recognized within the genus.

You do not currently have access to this content.