THE FAMILY OZOBRANCHIDAE REDEFINED, AND A NOVEL OZOBRANCHIFORM LEECH FROM MURRAY RIVER TURTLES (CLASS HIRUDINOIDEA ; ORDER RHYNCHOBDELLIFORME8) Laurence R. Richardson* [Read 26th March, 1969] Synopsis A new genus is provided for a leech from Emydura macquari at Lake Boga, Victoria, novel in possessing digitiform gills, etc. This is the first freshwater clitellate rhynchobdellid known in Australia. The external features of Ozobranchus branchiatus and O. margoi are described from specimens taken from marine turtles at Heron Island, which gives the first record of 0. margoi in the southern hemisphere, and is the fifth time the species has been taken. The redefined Family Ozobranchidae excludes the genus Branchellion. Specimens of a small ozobranchiform leech sent me by Mr. John Goode and Mr. Peter Meyer of Victoria, possess 8 pairs of gills which are tapering cylindrical, digitiform, terminating bluntly without division into the tufts of finely filamentous gills typical of the ozobranch, and so resemble the gills on the late embryo and newly hatched ozobranch; but these are adult specimens. These leeches were taken from Emydura macquari at Lake Boga, 10 miles from Swan Hill, Victoria, on the Murray River system. Egg-capsules of Bdellasimilis barwichi Richardson 1968 were taken with the leeches, but no leech cocoons were seen. According to Sanjeeva Raj (1954), the only other freshwater species of ozobranch is Ozobranchus papillatus Kaburaki 1921, in North India. Previously (Richardson, 1968) only the marine Ozobranchus branchiatus was known from Australia, being figured by MacDonald (1877) but not identified by him or described in detail, and referred to without detail by Goddard. Through Dr. John Pearson I received two specimens of Ozobranchus taken from Chelonia mydas at Heron Island by Dr. H. R. Bustard early in 1968. One specimen is 0. branchiatus, the other the rare 0. margoi which has been taken only four times previously, originally in the Mediter- ranean, twice in Japanese waters, and once in the Bay of Bengal. This is the first record of O. margoi on Chelonia mydas, and the first time in which two species of ozobranch have been taken from this turtle. The external details of these two specimens are described; but the condition of both was unsuitable for close internal study by dissection, which is most unfortunate for there are conflicts in the accounts of the internal anatomy of 0. branchiatus and the one account of the internal anatomy of 0. margoi is questionable on some points. The Lake Boga leech is the first clitellate rhynchobdellid found in Australian freshwaters. It is clearly a new genus. The external and internal morphology conforms to that of the ozobranch leeches so far as known and as seen in the dissection of the two marine species, and provides a morpho- logical basis for the establishment of a separate family, so removing the ozobranchids from the Family Piscicolidae, a small but initial intrusion into the systematic complexities of the clitellate rhynchobdellids. * 4 Bacon St., Grafton, N.S.W. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, Vol. 94, Part 1



The family Ozobranchidae redefined, and a novel ozobranchiform leech from Murray River turtles (class Hirudinoidea: order Rhynchobdelliformes)

L R Richardson
Proceedings of The Linnean Society of New South Wales 94: 61-80 (1969)

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