First report of Melanoides tuberculata (Mollusca: Thiaridae) harboring a xiphidiocercaria in Brazil: a new parasite introduced in the Americas?
Xiphidiocercariae were found in the invasive snail Melanoides tuberculata collected during a malacological survey in Ceará-Mirim, State of Rio Grande do Norte, Northeastern Brazil in November 2018 and submitted to morphological and molecular analyses. The morphology revealed similarities between the larvae here reported for the first time in M. tuberculata from Brazil and other xiphidiocercariae described in thiarid snails from Asia and Africa. Phylogenetic analyses based on 28S and ITS-2 sequences revealed that the larvae correspond to an unidentified species of the family Lecithodendriidae. Aspects related to the morphology and taxonomy of xiphidiocercariae found in M. tuberculata are briefly discussed. It is possible that the parasite here reported is a newly introduced species transmitted by M. tuberculata in the American continent.