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A survey of the nematode parasites of the Short-beaked Echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus (Monotremata: Tachyglossidae) from Southwestern Australia with the description of a new Subfamily, genus and species of the Subuluridae Travassos, 1914 (Nematoda: Ascaridida)

Smales, L., Elliot, A. and Chisholm, L. (2020) A survey of the nematode parasites of the Short-beaked Echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus (Monotremata: Tachyglossidae) from Southwestern Australia with the description of a new Subfamily, genus and species of the Subuluridae Travassos, 1914 (Nematoda: Ascaridida). Acta Parasitologica .

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11686-020-00277-0
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Abstract

Introduction

Nematodes were found in the digestive tracts of 15 short-beaked echidnas Tachyglossus aculeatus (Shaw, 1792) collected from southwestern Australia between August 1964 and March 2020.

Methods

Specimens were prepared for microscopic examination as temporary wet mounts, measurements were made, figures prepared using a drawing tube and light micrographs taken. All nematodes were identified to at least genus level and a bootstrap analysis of the helminth community was carried out.

Results

Two previously described species, one species identified to genus and one new nematode species were recovered, including Nicollina ridei (Nicollinidae), Parapharyngodon anomalus (Pharyngodonidae), Parastrongyloides sp. (Strongyloididae) and Echidnonema coronorum n. g., n. sp. (Subuluridae, Echidnonematinae n. sf.). Echidnonema coronorum n. sp. can be distinguished from all other subulurids in having a mouth encircled by six leaf-like elements separated by six small pointed elements. The buccal complex is also unique to this species and is composed of three parts, including an anterior buccal capsule and a posterior pharyngeal portion divided into two; the proximal part contains lobes which are ornamented with numerous irregular teeth. A bootstrap estimate of species richness of 99.9% indicated that there were few, if any, additional species to be discovered in the southwestern Australian population of short-beaked echidnas.

Conclusion

Morphological analysis supports the status of E. coronorum as a new species and the erection of the Echidnonematinae as a new subfamily to accommodate it. The helminth community of the population of short-beaked echidnas studied appears to be depauperate and contains species unique to the region.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
Publisher: Polska Akademia Nauk
Copyright: © 2020 Springer Nature Switzerland AG.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/57877
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