ABSTRACT

Four new species of Paraorygmatobothrium are described from carcharhinid shark species from the Gulf of Mexico and the U.S. coast of the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. Paraorygmatobothrium bullardi n. sp. is described from Carcharhinus brevipinna as its type host, and from Carcharhinus acronotus and Carcharhinus limbatus. Paraorygmatobothrium campbelli n. sp. is described from Rhizoprionodon terraenovae. Paraorygmatobothrium deburonae n. sp. is described from Carcharhinus isodon as its type host, as well as from C. brevipinna, C. limbatus, and R. terraenovae. Paraorygmatobothrium mattisi n. sp. is described from R. terraenovae as its type host, and from C. brevipinna and C. limbatus. These 4 species differ from other species of Paraorygmatobothrium and from each other in bothridial microthrix shape, and in various combinations of features such as the total length of the worm, apical sucker size, bothridial musculature, proglottid number, testes number, and genital pore position. Difficulty in differentiating these 4 species from one another, and from other species of Paraorygmatobothrium, points to limitations in the use of morphology alone to recognize species diversity in this genus. A phylogenetic analysis of Paraorygmatobothrium and related genera, based on partial (D1–D3) 28S rDNA sequence data, confirms that the genus is not monophyletic. Genetic distances of COI revealed that sequence divergence between species of Paraorygmatobothrium is generally at least an order of magnitude larger than COI divergence within a species. Patterns of host use for 3 of the new species are consistent with previous findings that point to a lack of host specificity in Paraorygmatobothrium.

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