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The genus Clinostomoides Dollfus, 1950 was erected to accommodate a single worm from Ardea goliath sampled in the Belgian Congo. The specimen was distinguished from other clinostomids by its large size and posterior genitalia. In the following years, metacercariae of Clinostomoides brieni, have been described in Clarias spp. in southern and western Africa. A few authors have referred to Clinostomum brieni, but all such usages appear to be lapsus calami, and the validity of Clinostomoides remains widely accepted. In this study our aim was: position C. brieni among the growing clinostomids molecular database, and redescribe the species with emphasis on characters that have emerged as important in recent work. We sequenced two nuclear (partial 18S and ITS) and one mitochondrial marker (partial cytochrome c oxidase I) and studied morphology in metacercariae from hosts and localities likely to harbour the type species (Clarias spp., Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa). Phylogenetic analysis shows C. brieni belongs within Clinostomum Leidy, 1856. We therefore transfer C. brieni to Clinostomum, amend the diagnosis for the genus Clinostomum and provide a critical analysis of other species in Clinostomoides, all of which we consider species inquirendae, as they rest on comparisons of different developmental stages.
The genus Clinostomum Leidy, 1856 (Digenea: Clinostomidae) has been reported in all ecozones of the world and a clear separation between the species of the ‘Old World’ and ‘New World’ has been recognized based on molecular studies. Recent works on Afrotropical species include redescriptions of C. cutaneum and C. phalacrocoracis, while C. tilapiae has yet to be studied using modern taxonomic approaches. In the present research, morphological redescription of C. tilapiae metacercariae from a new host, Synodontis batensoda sampled at Anambra River Basin, Nigeria, together with molecular analysis of nuclear internal transcribed spacer rDNA and cytochrome c oxidase 1 mtDNA are reported. We also provide morphological and molecular data from four further putative species of Clinostomum (morphotypes 1–4) from different areas of Africa, as well as the first report of C. phalacrocoracis in South Africa.
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