Biogeography of helminth parasitism in Lemmus Link (Arvicolinae), with the description of Paranoplocephala fellmani n. sp. (Cestoda: Anoplocephalidae) from the Norwegian lemming L. lemmus (Linnaeus)

Authors: Haukisalmi, V.1; Henttonen, H.2

Source: Systematic Parasitology, Volume 49, Number 1, May 2001 , pp. 7-22(16)

Publisher: Springer

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We describe the gastrointestinal helminth fauna of true lemmings (Lemmus spp., Arvicolinae) based on published and original material throughout the Holarctic range of these hosts. According to the existing data, the helminth fauna of true lemmings consists of three widespread and/or locally common taxa: Hymenolepis horrida (sensu lato) (Hymenolepididae), Anoplocephaloides lemmi (Anoplocephalidae) and Heligmosomoides spp. (Heligmosomidae). Despite the taxonomic boundaries and ancient phylogenetic splits in the hosts, there are no major faunistic differences for parasites within western (Siberian) L. sibiricus and L. bungei, and eastern (North American) L. trimucronatus throughout their distribution range. In contrast, the Norwegian lemming L. lemmus, which is a Fennoscandian endemic and closely related to the western populations of L. sibiricus, has only a single host-specific helminth, the cestode Paranoplocephala fellmani n. sp. (Anoplocephalidae). We describe the new species and show that it differs consistently from related species by its long and slender cirrus-sac. However, there are also a number of other significant differences, e.g., P. fellmani n. sp. and Andrya primordialis in Tamiasciurus hudsonicus (Sciuridae) evidently have a unique (sub)type of uterine development among Andrya/Paranoplocephala spp. Because P. fellmani n. sp. was also found to occur in Alaska (host L. trimucronatus), this species seems to follow the same biogeographical pattern as the other specialist helminths of Lemmus. We suggest alternative explanations for the absence of three major helminth taxa in the Norwegian lemming in Fennoscandia.

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Ecology and Systematics, Division of Population Biology, PO Box 17 (Arkadiankatu 7), FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland 2: Vantaa Research Center, Finnish Forest Research Institute, PO Box 18, FIN-01301 Vantaa, Finland

Publication date: May 1, 2001

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