ABSTRACT

Neopsilotrema is a small genus of psilostomid digeneans parasitic in the intestine of birds in the Palearctic and Nearctic. At present, the genus includes 4 species: Neopsilotrema lisitsynae from the Palearctic and Neopsilotrema affine, Neopsilotrema lakotae, and Neopsilotrema marilae from the Nearctic. Herein, we describe a new species, Neopsilotrema itascae n. sp., from lesser scaup Aythya affinis collected in Minnesota. The species can be distinguished from congeners on the basis of the ventral sucker:oral sucker width ratio, body width:length ratio, and cirrus sac size, along with other characters. We generated new 28S ribosomal deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and NADH dehydrogenase (ND1) mitochondrial DNA sequence data of a variety of psilostomids from the Palearctic and Nearctic along with sequences of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region (ITS1 + 5.8S + ITS2) from 3 Neopsilotrema species. The molecular phylogenetic affinities of a variety of psilostomid taxa were studied using 28S sequence data. The 28S sequences of psilostomids demonstrated 1–7.9% intergeneric divergence, whereas the sequences of ND1 had 17.7–34.1% intergeneric divergence. The interspecific divergence among members of Neopsilotrema was somewhat lower (0.2–0.5% in 28S; 0.3–0.4% in ITS; 12–15.7% in ND1). Our comparison of DNA sequences along with morphologic study suggests Holarctic distribution of N. lisitsynae.

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