Redescription and systematic reclassification of the trematode Topsiturvitrema verticalia (Trematoda: Digenea) in a new family
The trematode species Topsiturvitrema verticalia Vélez and Thatcher 1990 is redescribed based on two paratype samples and new material from the small intestine of the bat Myotis levis (Geoffroy), from Bahía Samborombón, Buenos Aires province, Argentina. This species is characterized by the presence of a “rhynchus”, that is, an anterior sucker-like attachment organ, by the position of the mouth on the ventral surface (surrounded by the ventral sucker), by two blind digestive structures, by the presence of two false saccular caeca located anteriorly and behind the anterior attachment organ, by the presence of the genital pore in the marginal anterior position of the body, and by the mid-dorsal position of the excretory pore. T. verticalia was originally described as a member of the family Lecithodendriidae (Lühe 1901), however, the presence of “rhynchus” and the position of the mouth opening in the ventral sucker constitute morphological features that preclude its inclusion in this family. On account of this, it is considered necessary to create a new family for the genus Topsiturvitrema Vélez and Thatcher 1990, which is included in a new family, Topsiturvitrematidae fam. nov. Furthermore, the geographic range of the species is expanded from Colombia to Argentina and M. levis is added to the species' host list.