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Morphological and molecular data on a new species of Plagiorhynchus Lühe, 1911 (Acanthocephala: Plagiorhynchidae) from the long-billed curlew (Numenius americanus) from northern Mexico

  • M. García-Varela (a1), J.-K. Park (a2), J.S. Hernández-Orts (a3) and C.D. Pinacho-Pinacho (a4)


A new species of the genus Plagiorhynchus Lühe, 1911 from the intestine of the long-billed curlew (Numenius americanus) from northern Mexico is described. Plagiorhynchus (Plagiorhynchus) aznari n. sp. is morphologically distinguished from other congeneric species from the Americas by having a trunk expanded anteriorly and a cylindrical proboscis, armed with 19 longitudinal rows of hooks, with 14–15 hooks each row. Nearly complete sequences of the small subunit and large subunit of the nuclear ribosomal DNA of the new species were determined and compared with available sequences from GenBank. Phylogenetic analyses inferred from the two molecular markers consistently showed that P. (Plagiorhynchus) aznari n. sp. is closely related to P. (Plagiorhynchus) allisonae, and this clade is sister to a clade formed by P. (Prosthorhynchus) transversus and P. (Prosthorhynchus) cylindraceus from Plagiorhynchidae. The new species represents the second record of the genus in Mexico and the fourth species in the Americas. The phylogenetic relationships among the members of the order Polymorphida in this study provide significant insights into the evolution of ecological associations between parasites and their definitive hosts. Our analyses suggest that the colonization of marine mammals, fish-eating birds and waterfowl in Polymorphidae might have occurred independently, from a common ancestor of Centrorhynchidae and Plagiorhynchidae that colonized terrestrial birds and mammals.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: M García Varela, E-mail:


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