The detection of three Gongylonema sp. infective larvae in two specimens of the dung beetle Geotrupes mutator (Marsham, 1802) from western Spain is reported here for the first time in Europe. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the analyzed specimens belong to the genus Gongylonema, but it was not possible to determine the species identity by the lack of morphological information in the literature and because many of the phenotypic characteristics had not yet fully developed at this juvenile stage. Nevertheless, a phylogenetic analysis using amplified cox1 nucleotide sequences has revealed that the studied larvae could be clearly discriminated (< 89% identity) from all the other Gongylonema cox1 sequences available in public genetic databases. While our results are limited by the scarcity of genetic information available for this genus, the possibility that the analyzed specimens might correspond to a new species should not be ruled out, and more studies are needed. The results provided in this report indicate that G. mutator is involved in the transmission cycle of Gongylonema sp. to vertebrates in Europe.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, other