Clinostomum spp. (Digenea: Clinostomidae) are a group of trematodes commonly found in the buccal cavity and oesophagus of a variety of piscivorous birds. The metacercariae, colloquially known as “yellow grubs,” have been reported from a diverse group of freshwater fishes worldwide. In the catfish farming region of the southeastern USA, piscivorous birds present a continuous challenge for aquaculturists in the form of fish depredation and the introduction of trematodes into these static, earthen pond systems. Clinostomum spp. are commonly encountered in farm-raised catfish. While generally considered pests of minimal importance, heavy infections can result in unmarketable fillets. Of the piscivorous birds that frequent catfish aquaculture operations in the southeastern US, the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus Lesson) is one of the most damaging, although reports of Clinostomum spp. from P. auritus are limited. In this study, adult trematodes morphologically consistent with Clinostomum sp. were found in the trachea of a double-crested cormorant captured in Lowndes Co., Mississippi, USA. These specimens differed from other recognised Clinostomum spp. in several key morphological characters. Moreover, sequence data of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (cox1), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase subunit 1 gene (nad1) and ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions did not match any known Clinostomum sp. for which sequence data are available. While genetically similar to C. marginatum and C. album Rosser, Alberson, Woodyard, Cunningham, Pote & Griffin, 2017 reported from the great egret Ardea alba L. in Mississippi, these adult clinostomids were larger in size and limited to the trachea, whereas both C. marginatum Rudolphi, 1819 and C. album are found in the oral cavity and esophagus. Given these distinct morphological and molecular characters we propose a new member of the genus, known hereafter as Clinostomum poteae n. sp. Additionally, larval stages in the life-cycle of C. album are morphologically and molecularly identified for the first time from ramshorn snails Planorbella trivolvis Say and fathead minnows Pimephales promelas Rafinesque.
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