An investigation on the helminth parasites of Caspian turtle (Mauremys caspica) with a taxonomic note on recovered Falcaustra Lane, 1915 (Nematoda: Kathlaniidae) and Spiroxys Schneider, 1866 species (Nematoda: Gnathostomatidae)

Ehsan Rakhshandehroo, Amin Gholamhosseini, Amin Ahmadi, Mostafa Rakhshaninejad, Amir Ali Heidari

Abstract

In this study, the digestive tracts of the Caspian turtles (Mauremys caspica) were investigated for the presence of helminth infections. Specimens of roundworms were recovered from the large intestine and stomach of the Caspian turtles. The morphologic measures revealed the infection with nematodes of the genus Falcaustra and Spiroxys. However, some differences were found in the collected Falcaustra specimens compared to the previous descriptions. In parallel, samples were analyzed by sequencing of the ribosomal gene targets. The phylogenetic analysis showed that the Falcaustra species as members of superfamily Cosmocercoidea were grouped with some members of Ascaridoidea and Spiruroidea. Despite the significant morphologic differences, Spiroxys species formed a sister group with ascaroid and cosmocercoid roundworms. Therefore, our molecular findings revealed that the taxonomic position of both nematodes need be revised.

Keywords

Caspian turtle; Falcaustra; Spiroxys; Phylogeny

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References

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