Acanthogyrus (Acanthosentis) kashmirensis n. sp. is described from recently collected acanthocephalan specimens in the Jhelum River in northern Kashmir that are conspecific with Neoechinorhynchus kashmirensis Fotedar and Dhar, 1977 originally described in a Ph.D. thesis in 1972 from 4 species of cyprinid fishes: Tor tor Hamilton, Bangana diplostoma (Heckel) (syn. Labeo diplostoma Heckel), Labeo rohita Hamilton, and Ptychobarbus sp. Steindachner. The poor unpublished diagnosis was followed by 1 uninformative abstract in a scientific meeting in 1977. The acanthocephalan was later designated as invalid because of the lack of a formal published description and absence of information on deposited type or voucher specimens. Recent collections of specimens of the same species were made from 2 other cyprinid species of cyprinid fishes, Schizothorax plagiostomus Heckel and Schizothorax labiatus (McClelland) from the Sandran River, a tributary of the Jhelum River, in southern Kashmir. It is now possible to provide a full description of these specimens and reassign them in the subgenus Acanthosentis Verma and Datta, 1929 based on the finding of circles of vestigial spines at the anterior end of the trunk of male and female specimens. These vestigial spines are barely visible and easy to miss with optical microscopy. The new species is also characterized by having (1) a para-receptacle structure in males and females, (2) unique double Saefftigen's pouches, (3) large round single-nucleated cells in the proboscis, and (4) the lemnisci being either equal or distinctly unequal with no intermediate states. A key to the species of Acanthosentis of the Indian subcontinent is provided. Histopathological sections show extensive damage to the host intestine with subsequent blood loss, cell necrosis, and attempted encapsulation. Results of the energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDAX) study show hollow hooks high in sulfur but with limited calcium ions. Hooks of most acanthocephalans studied with X-ray scans are solid with high calcium and low sulfur ions.
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