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A preliminary phylogenetic analysis of the Capsalidae (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea: Monopisthocotylea) inferred from large subunit rDNA sequences

  • I. D. WHITTINGTON (a1) (a2), M. R. DEVENEY (a3), J. A. T. MORGAN (a4) (a5), L. A. CHISHOLM (a2) and R. D. ADLARD (a4) (a6)...


Phylogenetic relationships within the Capsalidae (Monogenea) were examined using large subunit ribosomal DNA sequences from 17 capsalid species (representing 7 genera, 5 subfamilies), 2 outgroup taxa (Monocotylidae) plus Udonella caligorum (Udonellidae). Trees were constructed using maximum likelihood, minimum evolution and maximum parsimony algorithms. An initial tree, generated from sequences 315 bases long, suggests that Capsalinae, Encotyllabinae, Entobdellinae and Trochopodinae are monophyletic, but that Benedeniinae is paraphyletic. Analyses indicate that Neobenedenia, currently in the Benedeniinae, should perhaps be placed in a separate subfamily. An additional analysis was made which omitted 3 capsalid taxa (for which only short sequences were available) and all outgroup taxa because of alignment difficulties. Sequence length increased to 693 bases and good branch support was achieved. The Benedeniinae was again paraphyletic. Higher-level classification of the Capsalidae, evolution of the Entobdellinae and issues of species identity in Neobenedenia are discussed.


Corresponding author

Monogenean Research Laboratory, Parasitology Section, The South Australian Museum, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia. Tel: +61 8 8207 7463. Fax: +61 8 8207 7222. E-mail:


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