Invertebrate Systematics Invertebrate Systematics Society
Systematics, phylogeny and biogeography

Phylogenetic evaluation of systematics and biogeography of the leech family Glossiphoniidae

Mark E. Siddall A B , Rebecca B. Budinoff A and Elizabeth Borda A

A Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, New York 10024, USA.

B Corresponding author. Email:

Invertebrate Systematics 19(2) 105-112
Submitted: 24 November 2004  Accepted: 14 April 2005   Published: 28 June 2005


The phylogenetic relationships of Glossiphoniidae, a leech family characterised by its high degree of parental care, were investigated with the combined use of morphological data and three molecular datasets. There was strong support for monophyly of most accepted genera in the group, many of which are consistent with eyespot morphology. The genera Desserobdella Barta & Sawyer, 1990 and Oligobdella Moore, 1918 are suppressed as junior synonyms of Placobdella Blanchard, 1893 and thus recognising each of Placobdella picta (Verrill, 1872) Moore, 1906, Placobdella phalera (Graf, 1899) Moore, 1906, and Placobdella biannulata (Moore, 1900), comb. nov. The species Glossiphonia elegans (Verrill, 1872) Castle, 1900 and Helobdella modesta (Verrill, 1872), comb. nov. are resurrected for the North American counterparts to European non-sanguivorous species. Glossphonia baicalensis (Stschegolew, 1922), comb. nov. is removed from the genus Torix Blanchard 1898 and Alboglossiphonia quadrata (Moore, 1949) Sawyer, 1986 is removed from the genus Hemiclepsis Vejdovsky, 1884. The biogeographic implications of the phylogenetic hypothesis are evaluated in the context of what is already known for vertebrate hosts and Tertiary continental arrangements.


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