Tapeworms of elasmobranchs of Taiwan

In 2005 and 2013, we had the opportunity to travel to Taiwan and, in collaboration with Taiwanese elasmobranch biologists and parasitologists, collect tapeworms from sharks and rays throughout coastal Taiwan. While the relatively small island of Taiwan is home to ~177 of ~1,155 species and 50 of 57 families of known elasmobranchs, little is known about their tapeworm fauna. Just this year, resulting from these collections, we described a highly unusual new tapeworm in the order Litobothriidea, Litobothrium aenigmaticum. At the site of attachment, the host’s intestinal mucosa is expanded into a papilla-like structure indicative of pathological change (more…). In addition, Rachel is working on the lecanicephalidean tapeworms from the Japanese sleeper ray, Narke japonica, from Taiwan and will present her results at the annual meeting of the American Society of Parasitologists in July 2014.