Ictalurid catfishes (Siluriformes) in North America harbor proteocephalid tapeworms of the subfamily Corallobothriinae. Type species of 2 of 3 genera of these tapeworms from ictalurids are redescribed, based on museum and newly collected material. Essexiella fimbriata (Essex, 1928) is typified mainly by a wide, umbrella-shaped scolex with a metascolex formed by numerous folds of tissue, anteriorly directed suckers without sphincters, vitellarium bent inwards posteriorly, “flower-shaped” uterus (with anterior, lateral, and posterior diverticula), and a conspicuously pre-equatorial genital atrium. Verified host records of this cestode are only from 3 species of Ictalurus Rafinesque, 1820. Megathylacoides giganteum (Essex, 1928), which seems to be specific to the channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), possesses a globular scolex, with a weakly developed metascolex formed by tissue folds posterior to the suckers, anterolaterally directed suckers with large semilunar sphincters, proglottids that are widest at the level of the genital atrium at the anterior third of the proglottid, and uterine diverticula that do not reach the vitelline follicles laterally. A new subfamily, Essexiellinae Scholz and Barčák, is proposed to accommodate species of EssexiellaScholz, de Chambrier, Mariaux and Kuchta, 2011 (type genus), MegathylacoidesJones, Kerley and Sneed, 1956, and CorallotaeniaFreze, 1965 from ictalurid catfishes in the Nearctic Region. These tapeworms possess a metascolex, medullary genital organs, uterus lined with numerous chromophilic cells, pre-equatorial genital atrium, and uterine development of type 2. The new subfamily was monophyletic in all molecular phylogenetic analyses, being most closely related to 3 Neotropical proteocephalids from the redtail catfish, Phractocephalus hemioliopterus (Bloch and Schneider, 1801), but distant from all remaining proteocephalid tapeworms from freshwater fishes in North America.
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Vol. 106 • No. 4