ABSTRACT

A new archiacanthocephalan in the family Gigantorhynchidae, Intraproboscis sanghae n. gen., n. sp. is described from females collected from the African black-bellied pangolin Phataginus tetradactyla Linn. (Manidae) in the Central African Republic. A dichotomous key to the genera of Gigantorhynchidae is provided. The specimens presented are distinct from those of the genus Gigantorhynchus Hamann, 1892 that have only 1 or 2 circles of hooks (crowns) at the apical end of the proboscis and are found in South American mammals, except for Gigantorhynchus pesteri Tadros, 1966 from baboons in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Africa (Amin, 2013). They superficially resemble those of the other gigantorhynchid genus Mediorhynchus Van Cleave, 1916, especially in the organization of the truncate-cone proboscis and the position of the receptacle. Species of Mediorhynchus are bird parasites. The new genus, Intraproboscis, now the third genus in Gigantorhynchidae; however, is distinguished from Mediorhynchus by having a simple proboscis receptacle that is completely suspended within the proboscis, the passage of the retractor muscles through the receptacle into the body cavity posteriorly, absence of neck, and presence of a parareceptacle structure (first finding in the Archiacanthocephala) and a uterine vesicle; among other features, including the differential dorsoventral thickness of the body wall. The receptacle in Mediorhynchus is complex, with many accessory muscles and retractor muscles passing into the body cavity dorsally and ventrally. Our specimens reached 180 mm in length and the proboscis had 34–36 rows of 6–7 ventrally lamellated, rooted hooks each anteriorly, and 15–17 spinelike hooks each posteriorly. Micropores extended into the anterior and posterior proboscis and energy dispersive x-ray analysis (EDXA) of anterior hooks showed high levels of calcium and phosphorus but negligible traces of sulfur. Spinelike hooks in the posterior proboscis had lower levels of Ca and P and slightly higher levels of S. Molecular and phylogenetic analyses based on the 18S rDNA gene placed I. sanghae in a clade with the archiacanthocephalans Mediorhynchus, Moniliformis, Macracanthorhynchus, Oncicola, and Oligacanthorhynchus.

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