The phylogenetic position of Clinostomum heluans Braun, 1899 within the genus Clinostomum Leidy, 1856 is reported in this study based on sequences of the barcoding region of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (COX1). Additionally, molecular data are used to link the adult and the metacercariae of the species. The metacercariae of C. heluans were found encysted infecting the cichlid fish Australoheros sp. in Minas Gerais, Brazil, whereas the adults were obtained from the mouth cavity of the Great White Egret, Ardea alba, in Campeche, Mexico. The COX1 sequences obtained for the Mexican clinostomes and the Brazilian metacercaria were almost identical (0.2% molecular divergence), indicating conspecificity. Similar molecular divergence (0.2–0.4%) was found between sequences of C. heluans reported here and Clinostomum sp. 6 previously obtained from a metacercaria recovered from the cichlid Cichlasoma boliviense in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Both maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses unequivocally showed the conspecificity between C. heluans and Clinostomum sp. 6, which form a monophyletic clade with high nodal support and very low genetic divergence. Moreover, tree topology reveals that C. heluans occupies a basal position with respect to New World species of Clinostomum, although a denser taxon sampling of species within the genus is further required. The metacercaria of C. heluans seems to be specific to cichlid fish because both samples from South America were recovered from species of this fish family, although not closely related.

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