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Species of Apatemon Szidat, 1928 and Australapatemon Sudarikov, 1959 (Trematoda: Strigeidae) from New Zealand: linking and characterising life cycle stages with morphology and molecules


Species of Apatemon Szidat, 1928 and Australapatemon Sudarikov, 1959 are reported from New Zealand for the first time, and their life cycles are resolved using molecular sequence data (28S and ITS rDNA regions and mitochondrial COI). The metacercaria of Apatemon sp. ‘jamiesoni’ ex Gobiomorphus cotidianus and its cercaria ex Potamopyrgus antipodarum are described in detail. Its adult, found in Anas platyrhynchos and Phalacrocorax punctatus, is identified by molecular sequence data. Apatemon sp. ‘jamiesoni’ uses a different species of snail host, exhibits consistent differences in the genetic markers examined and its single described adult differs from known species so as to be considered distinct, but its formal description awaits additional adult specimens. Australapatemon niewiadomski n. sp. is described from Anas platyrhynchos. It is distinguished morphologically by the absence of a ringnapf and its overall smaller size compared to most other Australapatemon spp. except Au. magnacetabulum and Au. minor, which are smaller in nearly all features than the new species. Au. niewiadomski n. sp. metacercaria and its intermediate host (Barbronia weberi) are identified via matching of molecular sequence data. The status of Apatemon and Australapatemon as distinct genera is confirmed based on their respective monophyly, and genetic divergence between them is comparable to other well-established genera in the Strigeidae. The diagnosis of Australapatemon is emended. Life history data, accurate patterns of host specialisation and distribution, alongside concurrent molecular and morphological evidence would be useful for an integrative taxonomical approach towards the elucidation of species diversity in this group.

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In memory of our great colleague and friend Professor Ian Jamieson. We would like to express our gratitude to Norman Davis for providing access to specimens, and Matt Dale and Stephen Barton who supplied us with birds. Thanks to Clement Lagrue for sharing prevalence data. Special thanks are due to Dr. Leslie Chisholm of the South Australia Museum for lending material from their collection. This work has been supported indirectly by the Marsden Fund (Royal Society of New Zealand) and a Zoology Department PBRF Research Enhancement grant. Finally, comments from the Parasitology Research Group at the University of Otago, Dr. Aneta Kostadinova and Dr. Jean Mariaux contributed to improving a previous version of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Isabel Blasco-Costa.

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Blasco-Costa, I., Poulin, R. & Presswell, B. Species of Apatemon Szidat, 1928 and Australapatemon Sudarikov, 1959 (Trematoda: Strigeidae) from New Zealand: linking and characterising life cycle stages with morphology and molecules. Parasitol Res 115, 271–289 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-015-4744-0

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  • Apatemon
  • Australapatemon
  • Strigeidae
  • Taxonomy
  • Phylogenetics
  • Genetic divergence