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Taxonomic diversity of Rhinebothrium Linton, 1890 (Cestoda: Rhinebothriidea) from Hypanus guttatus (Bloch & Schneider) in NE Brazilian coast

Grant number: 17/20544-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2017
Effective date (End): November 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Fernando Portella de Luna Marques
Grantee:Jéssica Vieira da Silva Santos
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The documentation of the diversity and phylogenetic studies of parasites are essential to the understanding of the global biodiversity and historical associations between the lineages involved. Despite the recent efforts to discover and describe new species of parasites worldwide, there are strong evidence that the diversity of many groups still underestimated. The genus Rhinebothrium Linton, 1890 is a good example. This genus is composed by 44 species of endoparasites exclusively found in intestines of batoids (i.e., stingrays and skates) when adults. Although members of this genus can be found around the world, there is no record of its species in Brazilian waters - despite the diversity of batoids reported for these regions. However, preliminary data from the present proposal suggest that the absence of Rhinebothrium in this region is a sampling artifact - which could be attributed to the fact that many of its hosts have not been examined for this parasite fauna. This assertion is based on the observation that there are at least three new species of Rhinebothrium in the marine stingray Hypanus guttatus (Bloch & Schneider) from the coast of State of Alagoas, Brazil. Therefore, the goal of this project is to document the diversity of the genus Rhinebothrium of the Brazilian Northeast Coast to contribute to the knowledge of its fauna in our marine waters. These three putative species will be described using morphological and molecular data, which will be compared to the type-material and molecular data deposited in international repositories and available in our laboratory, respectively. The final product of this project is expected to be a scientific publication in a specialized journal with the description of these new taxa and their phylogenetic position among related groups. (AU)

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