Two new tentaculariid species were found infecting carcharhiniform sharks from off the coasts of Malaysian Borneo and the southwestern coast of the Baja California Sur, Mexico. Both new species exhibit a homeoacanthous heteromorphous basal and a homeoacanthous homeomorphous metabasal armature. Since this hook arrangement is unique within the tentaculariids and the taxonomy in this group deeply depends on the tentacular armature, Reimeriella n. g. is erected to accommodate R. varioacantha n. sp. ex Carcharhinus sorrah (Müller & Henle) and R. mexicoensis n. sp. ex Sphyrna lewini (Griffith & Smith). Unlike R. mexicoensis n. sp., R. varioacantha n. sp. has a pars bothrialis not overlapping the pars bulbosa and the number of testes is higher. Reimeriella mexicoensis n. sp. possesses very large uncinate to falcate hooks in the basal armature, while in R. varioacantha n. sp. these hooks are almost the same in size as the remaining hooks in both the basal and metabasal armature. The latter species is the first tentaculariid species where the metabasal armature very closely resembles an eutetrarhynchid with a heteroacanthous typical homeomorphous metabasal armature and a high number of spiniform hooks per half spiral row (10-11 vs 6-7 in R. mexicoensis n. sp.) in the metabasal and apical armature. This pattern provides further morphological evidence for the close relationship of the Eutetrarhynchoidea and the Tentacularioidea. Reimeriella varioacantha n. sp. enriches the trypanorhynch fauna from off the coast of Malaysian Borneo while R. mexicoensis n. sp. is a novel record of a tentaculariid trypanorhynch from the Mexican Pacific.
A new genus of trypanorhynch cestode is described from two species of sharks, the sliteye shark Loxodon macrorhinus Müller & Henle and the straight-tooth weasel shark Paragaleus tengi (Chen) collected in the Makassar Strait (off Indonesian Borneo) and Sulu Sea (off Malaysian Borneo). Ancipirhynchus afossalis n. g., n. sp. possesses two bothria and a heteroacanthous, heteromorphous tentacular armature with three distinctive files of hooks on the external tentacle surface but lacks prebulbar organs and gland cells within the tentacular bulbs. The hook arrangement of alternating files on the external surface of the tentacle resembles that seen in the superfamily Otobothrioidea Dollfus, 1942 in the genus Fossobothrium Beveridge & Campbell, 2005. However, the new species lacks the defining characteristic of this group, i.e. the paired bothrial pits. A Bayesian inference (BI) analysis of 37 LSU sequences of trypanorhynchs from three superfamilies provided evidence supporting the taxonomic placement of Ancipirhynchus afossalis n. g., n. sp. within the Otobothrioidea.
Lesions associated with two species of tapeworms within the digestive tract of wild-caught specimens of the bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas, and the sicklefin weasel shark, Hemigaleus microstoma, from Malaysian Borneo are described. Portions of the glandular stomach and pyloric gut with parasites were removed and fixed in 10% formalin buffered in sea water. Whole mounts, histological sections of tissues with and without worms in situ, and scanning electron microscopy images of detached worms were examined. Both species of cestodes belonged to the trypanorhynch family Tentaculariidae. Heteronybelinia estigmena was found in large numbers parasitizing the pyloric gut of C. leucas; an unidentified tentaculariid was found in relatively small numbers in both the glandular stomach and pyloric gut of H. microstoma. Both species burrowed their scoleces deeply in the mucosa and attached via hooked tentacles and unciniform microtriches of the scolex. The lesions induced by the parasites were marked in both sharks and ranged from acute necrotizing to chronic granulomatous gastroenteritis. Regenerative hyperplasia and intestinal metaplasia of gastric epithelium were also present. The severity and character of pathology was causally linked to the intensity of infection, the attachment mode of the parasites, and to the anatomophysiological relationships within the gut of the host shark.