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New hairworm (Nematomorpha, Gordiida) species described from the Arizona Madrean Sky Islands

New hairworm (Nematomorpha, Gordiida) species described from the Arizona Madrean Sky Islands

Zookeys 733: 131-145

ISSN/ISBN: 1313-2989

PMID: 29434487

Gordiids, or freshwater hairworms, are members of the phylum Nematomorpha that use terrestrial definitive hosts (arthropods) and live as adults in rivers, lakes, or streams. The genus Paragordius consists of 18 species, one of which was described from the Nearctic in 1851. More than 150 years later, we are describing a second Paragordius species from a unique habitat within the Nearctic; the Madrean Sky Island complex. The Madrean Sky Islands are a series of isolated high mountains in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States (Arizona and New Mexico), and are well known for their high diversity and endemicity. The new species is described based on both molecular data (COI barcoding) and morphological characters of the eggs, larvae, cysts, and adults. Adult females have unique small oblong mounds present on the interior of the trifurcating lobes with randomly dispersed long hairs extending from the furrows between the mounds. Marked genetic differences support observed morphological differences. This species represents the second new hairworm to be described from the Madrean Sky Islands, and it may represent the first endemic hairworm from this biodiversity hotspot.

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Accession: 065351510

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