Reproductive Strategies, Karyology, Parasites, and Taxonomic Status of Dugesia Populations from Yemen (Platyhelminthes: Tricladida: Dugesiidae)

Journal Article
, Abdel Halim Harrath, Ronald Sluys, Saleh Alwasel; Waleed Aldahmash, Abdul Karim Errazagui, Khalid Ibrahim, and Marta Riutort . 2013
Magazine \ Newspaper: 
ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE
Volume Number: 
30
Pages: 
502-508
Publication Abstract: 

We present new data on the distribution, reproductive strategies, karyology, and taxonomic status of populations of freshwater planarians from Yemen. Nine populations were sampled and significant differences in their reproductive strategies and karyology are reported. The present study presents the first fully documented record of a naturally sexual, diploid (2n = 18) population of a Dugesia-species in the eastern part of the Afrotropical region. Morphological characters combined with karyological data suggest that these Dugesia populations from Yemen represent a new species, which is herein described as Dugesia arabica Harrath and Sluys, sp. nov. This new species is mainly distinguishable from other Dugesia species that are distributed exclusively in the Mediterranean basin and in the eastern part of the Afrotropical region by the presence of the following features: well-developed and cone-shaped penis papilla, housing an ejaculatory duct that runs ventrally and has a subterminal and ventral opening; a considerably expanded and folded section of the bursal canal at the level of the oviducal openings; absence of a layer of longitudinal muscles on the copulatory bursa and the bursal canal. Specimens from two populations from Yemen were infested with a gregarine protozoon.