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Ithyoclinostomum yamagutii n. sp. (Digenea: Clinostomidae) in the great blue heron Ardea herodias L. (Aves: Ardeidae) from Mississippi, USA

Abstract

With only six recognised genera, the family Clinostomidae Lühe, 1901 remains a global research interest of parasitologists and ecologists. Recent efforts have focused on providing molecular data to investigate species diversity, elucidate life-cycles, and make inferences on the group’s evolutionary history. Of the clinostomid genera, the monotypic Ithyoclinostomum Witenberg, 1926 has remained more enigmatic compared to the commonly encountered Clinostomum Leidy, 1856. Recent morphological and molecular evidence from metacercariae suggests a second Ithyoclinostomum species may exist in freshwater cichlids in Central America and Mexico. In a recent survey of great blue herons Ardea herodias L. from commercial catfish production farms in Mississippi, USA, two specimens of an abnormally large (> 20 mm) clinostomid were encountered in the oesophagus of a single bird. These specimens were identified as an Ithyoclinostomum sp. morphologically distinct from the only nominal species Ithyoclinostomum dimorphum (Diesing, 1850). Using morphological and molecular data these adult specimens were confirmed as conspecific with the larval metacercariae previously described from Central America and Mexico and represent the novel species, Ithyoclinostomum yamagutii n. sp.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Stephen Clements, Katie Hanson-Dorr, Lanna Durst, and Raleigh Middleton for their assistance in collecting herons for this study.

Funding

This work was supported by the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Office of Research and Graduate Studies Internal Grants Programme and United States Department of Agriculture.

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Correspondence to Thomas G. Rosser.

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All applicable institutional, national and international guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed (IACUC QA 2853).

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Rosser, T.G., Woodyard, E.T., Mychajlonka, M.N. et al. Ithyoclinostomum yamagutii n. sp. (Digenea: Clinostomidae) in the great blue heron Ardea herodias L. (Aves: Ardeidae) from Mississippi, USA. Syst Parasitol 97, 69–82 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11230-019-09892-6

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