Submitted to: Systematic Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 12, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Pseudophyllidean tapeworms are economically significant as larval parasites in food-fishes and have medical importance because of infections of larval and adult tapeworms in humans. Limited knowledge of the systematics of families, genera and species of these tapeworms has hindered understanding of parasite-host biology, geographic patterns of infection, and biodiversity, and has impeded progress in identification and diagnostics. The first phylogenetic study of the pseudophyllideans, based on comparative analysis of morphological structure, provides new information about the evolution of these parasites. The group is primitive among the tapeworms, and may not be monophyletic. The diphyllobothriids which contains the economically important genus Diphyllobothrium, are recognized as a group. Phylogenetic studies of higher-level relationships among families supports a top down approach to elucidating the evolution of genera and species- groups. This basic research is the foundation for detailed studies of the diphyllobothriids that are present in cold-water ecosystems, and may pose threats to aquaculture and human health.
A phylogenetic analysis of the Pseudophyllidea, based on the sixteen type-genera of putative families, indicates that a division into two suborders is reasonable. The subordinal grouping are, on the whole, congruent with those suggested by earlier workers, but the positions of three genera, Hexagonoporus, Cephalochlamys and Parabothriocephalus are somewhat anomalous with respect to earlier work.