Research Article

Identification of a new species of digenean Notocotylus malhamensis n. sp. (Digenea: Notocotylidae) from the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) and the field vole (Microtus agrestis)

K. BOYCEa1, G. HIDEa1, P. S. CRAIGa1, P. D. HARRISa3, C. REYNOLDSa1, A. PICKLESa2 and M. T. ROGANa1 c1

a1 Centre for Parasitology and Disease Research, School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Salford, Salford M5 4WT, UK

a2 Field Studies Council at Malham Tarn Field Centre, North Yorkshire BD24 9PU

a3 National Centre for Biosystematics, Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, PO Box 1172, N-0318, Oslo, Norway


Notocotylus malhamensis n. sp. is described from the caecum of the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) and the field vole (Microtus agrestis) from Malham Tarn Nature Reserve in North Yorkshire, UK. In total, 581 specimens were collected from rodents trapped at a wetland site (Tarn Fen) between July 2010 and October 2011 with a prevalence of 66·7% and mean intensity of 94·6 in the bank vole and 50% prevalence and a mean intensity of 4·3 in the field vole. This species appears to be most closely related to other previously described Notocotylus species infecting rodents in Europe but differs principally by the metraterm to cirrus sac ratio (1:1·5–1:1·2) in combination with a densely spinulated cirrus, simple caeca and a greater number of ventral glands in the lateral rows (14–17). The use of molecular differentiation was of limited use in this study due to a paucity of relevant information in the DNA sequence databases. However, the complete ITS1-5.8S rDNA-ITS2 and partial 28S gene sequences have been generated to provide a definitive tool for identification of this species in future studies. As far as we know this is the first report of a notocotylid infection in M. glareolus in the UK.

(Received March 21 2012)

(Revised May 02 2012)

(Accepted May 02 2012)

(Online publication July 19 2012)

Key words

  • Notocotylidae;
  • Notocotylus malhamensis ;
  • bank vole;
  • Myodes glareolus ;
  • field vole;
  • Microtus agrestis ;
  • DNA