Monday, March 4, 2019

[Invertebrate • 2019] Sinospelaeobdella wulingensis & S. cavatuses Vampire in the Darkness: A New Genus and Species of Land Leech (Hirudinea: Arhynchobdellida: Haemadipsidae) Exclusively Bloodsucking Cave-dwelling Bats from China

Sinospelaeobdella wulingensis Liu, Huang & Liu

in Huang, Liu, Gong, Wu, Liu, et al., 2019.

Land leeches in the family Haemadipsidae are mostly from the humid tropical rainforest habitats and habitually take blood from the body of human and other animals. In the present study, we report a new species, Sinospelaeobdella wulingensis sp. n., from caves in the northern subtropical Wuling Mountains of central-south China that feeds blood exclusively on cave-dwelling bats. Based on morphological characteristics, COI gene sequence divergence, and phylogenetic analysis, a new genus Sinospelaeobdella gen. n. is established for the new species, to which a previously described species Haemadipsa cavatuses Yang et al., 2009 is transferred as S. cavatuses comb. n. We also provided extended discussion on phylogenetic relationship within the “Tritetrabdellinae” clade uncovered in a previous study, DNA taxonomy, morphological and behavioral adaptions, biogeography, and possible involvement of Sinospelaeobdella gen. n. in bat transmitted diseases of public concerns. 

Key words: Land leeches, Sinospelaeobdella gen. n., Sinospelaeobdella wulingensis sp. n., DNA taxonomy, Phylogeny, Cave-dwelling bats

FIGURE 5. The four stages of life cycle in Sinospelaeobdella wulingensis sp. n. 
 (A, mating behavior; B, external feature of reproductive individual; C, cocoon; D, larva) and
 blood-sucking on the hindfoot of Rhinolophus sinicus (E).

Family Haemadipsidae Blanchard, 1892

Genus Sinospelaeobdella Liu, Huang, and Liu gen. n.

Etymology: The name for the new genus derives from Σινων (Sinon) , meaning Chinese Chinaσπηλαιον (spelaeon), cave, or subterraneanβδελλα (bdella), land leechSino-spelaeo-bdella Sinospelaeobdella.

  Sinospelaeobdella wulingensis Liu, Huang, and Liu, sp. n.

  Etymology: The specific name is derived from the type locality in “Wuling Mountains”, a mountain range stretching from western Hunan Province to eastern Guizhou Province and southeastern Hubei Province of China.

Biology: Sinospelaeobdella wulingensis sp. n. lives on the ceiling of wet karstic caves, a stable microhabitat with an average temperature at 17°C and relative humidity at 91%. ... Both adults and larvae suck blood on hindfoot (Fig. 5E) of several bat species, including Rhinolophus sinicus Andersen, R. pearsonii Horsfield, R. pusillus Temminck, R. macrotis Blyth and Hipposideros armiger (Hodgson).

 Taifu Huang, Zhiwei Liu, Xiaoyan Gong, Tao Wu, Hui Liu, Jiaxin Deng, Youxiang Zhang, Qingzhong Peng, Libiao Zhang and Zhixiao Liu. 2019. Vampire in the Darkness: A New Genus and Species of Land Leech Exclusively Bloodsucking Cave-dwelling Bats from China (Hirudinda: Arhynchobdellida: Haemadipsidae). Zootaxa. 4560(2); 257–272.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4560.2.2