Abstract

Previously undescribed infective larvae of the cystidicolid nematode Pseudoproleptus sp. (probably conspecific with the nematode originally described as Heliconema izecksohni Fabio, 1982, a parasite of freshwater fish in Brazil), were found encapsulated in the hemocel of the Amazon river prawn Macrobrachium amazonicum (Heller) (Decapoda: Palaemonidae) from the natural canals on the Mexiana Island (Amazon River Delta), Pará State, Brazil. The prevalence in prawns (body length 48– 110 mm) examined in January and March 2008 (n = 44) was 32%, with an intensity of 1–6 (mean 2) larvae per crustacean. The nematode larvae (body length 19.7–25.7 mm), characterized by the cephalic end provided with a helmet-like cuticular structure having a thickened free posterior margin, are described based on light and scanning electron microscopy. Apparently prawns play a role as intermediate hosts for this nematode species. This is the first record of a larval representative of Cystidicolidae in South America and the first record of a species of Pseudoproleptus Khera, 1955, in the Neotropics. Heliconema izecksohni is transferred to Pseudoproleptus as Pseudoproleptus izecksohni (Fabio, 1982) n. comb.

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