abstract

Paraoistosomum novaeguineae n. gen., n. sp. is described based on specimens from the kidneys of a New Guinea crocodile Crocodylus novaeguineae collected in Papua New Guinea. The body shape and the topology of most internal organs of the new species are strongly reminiscent of Oistosomum caduceus Odhner 1902, the sole member of Oistosomum, a genus of unclear phylogenetic relationships and systematic position described from the Nile crocodile in Sudan in 1902 and never reported since then. At the same time, the new species has a number of significant differences from Oistosomum caduceus. Among them are much shorter intestinal ceca, a relatively larger ventral sucker, ovary anterolateral to ventral sucker (posterolateral in O. caduceus), vitellaria arranged in 2 clusters of loosely organized follicles at the level of ventral sucker (2 narrow long lateral fields in O. caduceus), much longer esophagus, and other characters. Most importantly, the new species has the genital pore situated at the anterior body end adjacent to the oral sucker, whereas O. caduceus has the genital pore in front of the ventral sucker. These dramatic differences suggest establishment of a new genus for the species from Papua New Guinea. The anatomy of P. novaeguineae n. gen., n. sp. suggests that these genera may not belong to the Plagiorchiidae, the current familial allocation of Oistosomum. Scarcity of material and lack of molecular data do not permit clarification of this problem at the present time.

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