Examination of the spiral intestines of 29 whiptail stingrays, Dasyatis brevis, from 6 sites in the Gulf of California, México in 1993 and 1996 resulted in the discovery of 4 new species of Acanthobothrium: Acanthobothrium bullardi, Acanthobothrium dasi, Acanthobothrium rajivi, and Acanthobothrium soberoni. This brings the total number of species of Acanthobothrium known from the eastern Pacific Ocean to 34. With 22 additional species reported from elasmobranchs from the western Atlantic Ocean, and over 100 species globally, the number of interspecific comparisons required to justify the designation of a new species is rather unwieldy. To facilitate these and future comparisons, and in the absence of a phylogenetic hypothesis for this genus, the 56 species of Acanthobothrium from these 2 geographic regions were categorized for 4 characters: total length (≤ or >15 mm), number of segments (≤ or >50 segments), number of testes (≤ or >80), and symmetry of poral and aporal ovarian lobes. These 56 taxa and their categories are presented in tabular form. Based on these characters, A. bullardi, A. dasi, and A. rajivi are category 2 species (they are relatively small, possess few segments, relatively few testes, and exhibit asymmetrical ovaries); A. soberoni is a category 6 species (it is a relatively longer worm with a larger number of segments, but with fewer testes and an asymmetrical ovary). All 4 species differ from 1 another and from species in other geographic regions in further subtleties of these 4 characters as well as hook size and relative length of hook prongs, cirrus sac size, genital pore position, number of columns of testes anterior to the cirrus sac, and number of postvaginal testes. Five specimens that appear to represent a new species of Acanthobothroides were also collected. This species is figured and some details of the morphology are described, but the material was considered to be insufficient to allow for formal description of this species at this time. This is the first record of either of these genera of onchobothriid tapeworms from the Gulf of California.
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