Parasitology Research

, Volume 118, Issue 2, pp 441–452 | Cite as

Taxonomic status of Rhabdochona ictaluri (Nematoda: Rhabdochonidae) based on molecular and morphological evidence

  • Omar Lagunas-Calvo
  • Ana Santacruz
  • David Iván Hernández-Mena
  • Gerardo Rivas
  • Gerardo Pérez-Ponce de León
  • Rogelio Aguilar-AguilarEmail author
Fish Parasitology - Original Paper


The genus Rhabdochona includes more than 100 species infecting freshwater fishes in all zoogeographical regions of the world. In Mexico, 12 nominal species of Rhabdochona have been recorded. Of these, Rhabdochona ictaluri was originally described as a parasite of endemic catfishes of the family Ictaluridae; however, the species was later considered on morphological grounds as a junior synonym of Rhabdochona kidderi. In this study, newly sampled specimens of R. ictaluri were obtained from the type host and type locality and were used to perform a detailed morphological analysis and molecular phylogenetic inferences through one mitochondrial and two nuclear genes; data were used in an integrative taxonomy context to test the taxonomic status of R. ictaluri. This approach proved to be very useful to confirm the validity of this species, and robust species limits were established between these two putative species considering morphology, molecular data, host association, and biogeography.


Nematoda Integrative taxonomy Species limits Morphology COX1 



We thank Jaime Guzmán, Ramón Valdez, and Saúl Montoya for their help during field work; Luis García for the loan of specimens of Rhabdochona ictaluri and R. kidderi deposited in the CNHE, and for providing helpful bibliographic references; Berenit Mendoza for the preparation of specimens for SEM, and Laura Márquez for support obtaining DNA sequences.

Funding information

This project was partially funded by the program PAPIIT-UNAM IN218414 to GR and IN202617 to GPPL. OLC, AOSV, and DIHM wish to thank the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT) for granting scholarships to complete their graduate programs.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Biología Comparada, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoCiudad de MéxicoMexico
  2. 2.Posgrado en Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico CityMexico
  3. 3.Departamento de Zoología, Instituto de BiologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoCiudad de MéxicoMexico

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