The laciniate, relatively large-bodied tetraphyllidean tapeworm genus Calliobothrium van Beneden, 1850 parasitises triakid sharks with all but one species found parasitising sharks of the genus Mustelus Linck, 1790. Historically, species of this genus were thought to exhibit a relaxed degree of host specificity relative to species of their sister genus Symcallio Bernot, Caira, & Pickering, 2015. However, several more recent studies have begun to question this difference and, in particular, the conspecificity of specimens identified as the types species, C. verticillatum (Rudolphi, 1819) van Beneden, 1850, from multiple host species. Our results suggest that diversity in the genus Calliobothrium has been under-reported. To explore this situation, specimens previously identified as C. verticillatum were collected from Mustelus asterias Cloquet, 1819 off the United Kingdom and Mustelus canis (Mitchell, 1815) off Connecticut, USA; these sharks each were found to host distinct species both of which are described here. Mustelus asterias was also confirmed to host Symcallio leuckarti (van Beneden, 1850) Bernot, Caira & Pickering, 2015, which is redescribed. In combination with newly collected material from Mustelus palumbes Smith, 1957 off South Africa and data available from GenBank, molecular phylogenetic analyses based on 28S rDNA data for four of the seven known species of Calliobothrium, including both new species and five of the 11 known species of Symcallio, were conducted. The resulting phylogeny supports the mutual monophyly of the two genera, which are readily distinguished based on whether they exhibit proglottid laciniations, and supports subclades of Symcallio with and without hook accessory pieces. These subclades of Symcallio appear to exhibit an intriguing congruence with two known subclades of their host genus, Mustelus.
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Vol. 30 • No. 6