ABSTRACT

A new species of the recently erected genus of proteocephalid cestodes, Synbranchiella Arredondo, Alves and Gil de Pertierra, 2017, is described based on specimens found in the mountain mullet, Dajaus monticola (Bancroft, 1834), from Costa Rica. The new species is placed in Synbranchiella because of the cortical position of the genital organs (typical of the former subfamily Monticelliinae); a robust scolex (lacking a metascolex) having a dome-shaped apex and biloculate suckers (lacking free posterior margins); vitelline follicles in 2 narrow lateral bands; a vagina always anterior to the cirrus-sac; and a genital pore that is markedly pre-equatorial, i.e., close to the anterior margin of proglottids. The new species, Synbranchiella megacirrus, differs from the type and only other species of the genus, Synbranchiella mabelae Arredondo, Alves and Gil de Pertierra, 2017, that infects the marbled swamp eel, Synbranchus marmoratus Bloch, 1795, in Argentina by the absence of preporal vitelline follicles (present in S. mabelae); a well-developed, large, elongate vaginal sphincter (small and ring-like in S. mabelae); and a large cirrus-sac relative to the proglottid size (cirrus-sac length is on average 48% of the proglottid width in S. megacirrus vs. 31% in the latter species). This is the first adult tapeworm reported from mountain mullet and the first record of the genus outside of South America, thereby greatly extending the range of distribution of species of Synbranchiella.

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