Two cases of human philophthalmosis have been reported in Japan. Gravid flukes removed from the eyes of the patients were broken, but their morphological characteristics suggest that an unknown species of the genus Philophthalmus is involved as a pathogen for humans. The mitochondrial DNA barcode of the human eye fluke enabled us to discover its larval stage from the Japanese mud snail, Batillaria attramentaria. The discovered cercaria had previously been temporarily described as “Philophthalmid sp. I.” In this study, we examined the infection status of B. attramentaria with Philophthalmid sp. I found on a muddy seashore of the Seto Inland Sea, Japan, and the resulting metacercariae were experimentally administered to Japanese quails to develop them into the gravid adult stage. The complete specimens of the adult and larval stages allowed us to describe a new species. Based on morphological and molecular analyses, Philophthalmus hechingeri n. sp. is proposed for the human-infecting eye fluke in Japan. The natural definitive hosts of the new species are unknown. However, the habitat of B. attramentaria suggests that shorebirds (seagulls, sandpipers, and plovers) might be the possible candidates.

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