Collections from the dwarf sawfish, Pristis clavata, near Darwin, Australia, in 1997 led to the discovery of the new onchoproteocephalidean genus Matticestus n. gen.—a taxon that has been referred to in molecular phylogenetic analyses in which it has been included as “New genus 8.” Its type species, Matticestus anneae n. gen., n. sp., and a second species, Matticestus kathleenae n. sp., are described. Placement of this taxon in the Onchoproteocephalidea is supported morphologically in that both species bear a scolex with 4 bothridia each with a pair of bi-pronged hooks and spinitriches that extend throughout the length of the body. Sequence data for the D1–D3 region of the 28S rDNA gene also place the genus solidly among the other elasmobranch-hosted members of the order. The new genus differs from the other elasmobranch-hosted genera in the order in that its members possess a combination of biloculated bothridia with lateral lappets on the posterior margin of the anterior loculus and a pair of bi-pronged hooks with a distinctive configuration of tubercles and internal channels. Its members are also extremely small. In summary, Matticestus n. gen. is an unusually tiny, “spiny,” genus of cestode that seems to exclusively parasitize sawfish of the genus Pristis.

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