Evaluating the ontogenetic external morphology of an ectoparasitic Torix tukubana (Hirudinida: Glossiphoniidae), with records of its new host amphibian species

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Torix is a leech genus containing freshwater proboscidate species, and several members of this taxon are ectoparasites specific to amphibians. Torix tukubana inhabits mountain streams in Japan, and only two frog species are known to be hosts. We collected this leech from two other amphibians, Onychodactylus japonicus (Japanese clawed salamander) and Rana ornativentris (montane brown frog), for the first time. This finding suggests that the host specificity of T. tukubana is low. The immature individuals of T. tukubana were also collected and identified based on DNA data. This is the first juvenile record of this species confirmed by its DNA barcode sequences. Several morphological characters known from large individuals and used as diagnostic characteristics in taxonomic keys were not observed in the juveniles, suggesting that these are ontogenetic traits.


  • Parasitology Research

    Parasitology Research 118(2), 663-666, 2019-02

    Springer Berlin Heidelberg


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