ABSTRACT

Salamanders of the tribe Bolitoglossini Hallowell are a highly diversified group of amphibians, and their helminth parasite fauna has been scarcely studied. Some species of plethodontid salamanders distributed along the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, in central Mexico, were sampled, and their helminth parasites were recovered for taxonomic identification. Specimens of a pharyngodonid nematode from 2 species of bolitoglossines of the genus Pseudoeurycea Taylor were morphologically identified as Batracholandros salamandrae (Schad, 1960) Petter and Quentin, 1976. These specimens were studied in further detail through light and scanning electron microscopy and were sequenced for 2 ribosomal genes and 1 mitochondrial gene to test the hypothesis of whether B. salamandrae is a species widely distributed in salamanders across the Nearctic biogeographic region, or if it represents a cryptic species complex. Our molecular results revealed that these specimens consisted of 2 genetic lineages in concordance with host species, although with slight morphological differences among specimens in each of them. A thorough study, including the generation of molecular data from individuals from other areas of North America, and the examination of type specimens, is required to test the reliability of these morphological differences and to corroborate the species identity of the 2 genetic lineages.

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