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Title: Huffmanela  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Huffmanela ossicola, Trichosomoididae, Fish diseases and parasites
Collection: Enoplea, Parasites of Fish, Parasitic Nematodes
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Eggs of
Huffmanela hamo
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Nematoda
Class: Enoplea
Family: Trichosomoididae
Genus: Huffmanela
Binomial name
Moravec, 1987

Huffmanela Moravec, 1987 [1] is a genus of parasitic nematodes, belonging to the family Trichosomoididae.


  • Morphology 1
  • Biology 2
  • Systematics 3
  • Classification 4
  • Medical interest 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


As other nematodes, species of Huffmanela are elongate and vermiform. They are especially thin and small. The male is smaller than the female. The stichosome is composed of a single row of stichocytes (glandular cells). The advances eggs contain larvae and have strongly pigmented, dark, often conspicuously thick walls comprising three layers,[2] and polar plugs.[3]


The Blackfin hogfish (Bodianus loxozonus), has its bones parasitized by Huffmanela ossicola in New Caledonia

Nematodes of the genus Huffmanela are all parasites of fishes.[1] They infect various tissues (skin, mucosa, musculature, swimbladder wall, intestine wall, and even within the bones [4] ) of elasmobranchs (sharks) and bony fishes. Their life cycle is not known.[3]
Females lay eggs in the host's tissues at a very early stage and eggs continue to develop after being laid. Eggs usually occur as masses in the tissues of the hosts, occurring frequently as conspicuous black spots in the flesh or other organs of fish; these black spots may constitute a commercial problem.[3] [5][6]


In zoology, new species are generally described only from adult specimens; however, in the case of Huffmanela species, it happens that the eggs are often the only stage which is known. For this reason, several species of Huffmanela have been described from eggs only.[3][4] This is exceptional but perfectly valid for the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, and eggs are considered syntypes of the new species.[4]


Huffmanela ossicola, a species described only from its eggs

According to Moravec (2001),[3] Huffmanela is the single genus within the subfamily Huffmanelinae Moravec, 2001.
The type-species of the genus Huffmanela is Huffmanela carcharini (McCallum, 1925) Moravec, 1987,[1] a species originally described as Capillaria carcharhini MacCallum, 1925 and Capillaria spinosa MacCallum, 1926 by MacCallum.

Twenty species of Huffmanela have been described with a binomial name (or Latin name) [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [6]

Of these 20 species, only 5 have their adult forms known and described (Table below); all others have been described from eggs only. Hosts include a variety of fish species and families (Table below), generally marine, with a single exception, H. huffmani in a freshwater fish host. [18]

In addition to these described species, about half a dozen cases of Huffmanela spp., or unnamed species, have been reported in various fish hosts. [19] [20] [21] [22] [23]

Described species of Huffmanela, description of their adult form, and host fish species and family

Species Adult Hosts
Huffmanela balista Justine, 2007 [7] described Abalistes stellatus (Balistidae)
Huffmanela banningi Moravec, 1987 [1] unknown Cynoglossus browni (Cynoglossidae)
Huffmanela branchialis Justine, 2004 [4] unknown Nemipterus furcosus (Nemipteridae)
Huffmanela canadensis Moravec, Conboy & Speare, 2005 [9] described Sebastes spp. (Sebastidae)
Huffmanela carcharini (MacCallum, 1925) Moravec, 1987 [1] unknown Carcharhinus melanopterus, C. plumbeus (Carcharhinidae)
Huffmanela filamentosa Justine, 2004 [4] unknown Gymnocranius grandoculis (Lethrinidae)
Huffmanela hamo Justine & Iwaki, 2014[6] unknown Muraenesox cinereus (Muraenesocidae)
Huffmanela huffmani Moravec, 1987 described [18] Lepomis spp., Amblopites rupestris, Micropterus salmoides (Centrarchidae)
Huffmanela japonica Moravec et al., 1998 [10] unknown Upeneus japonicus(Mullidae)
Huffmanela lata Justine, 2005 [11] unknown Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos (Carcharhinidae)
Huffmanela longa Justine, 2007 [7] described Gymnocranius oblongus, Gymnocranius grandoculis (Lethrinidae)
Huffmanela markgracei Ruiz & Bullard, 2013 [17] unknown Rhizoprionodon terraenovae (Carcharhinidae)
Huffmanela mexicana Moravec & Fajer-Avila, 2000 [12] unknown Sphoeroides annulatus (Tetraodontidae)
Huffmanela moraveci Carballo & Navone, 2007 [13] described Odontesthes smitti, O. nigricans (Atherinopsidae)
Huffmanela oleumimica Ruiz et al., 2012 [16] unknown Lutjanus campechanus (Lutjanidae)
Huffmanela ossicola Justine, 2004 [4] unknown Bodianus loxozonus, B. perditio , B. busellatus (Labridae)
Huffmanela paronai Moravec & Garibaldi, 2000 [14] unknown Xiphias gladius (Xiphiidae)
Huffmanela plectropomi Justine, 2011 [8] unknown Plectropomus leopardus (Serranidae)
Huffmanela schouteni Moravec & Campbell, 1991 [15] unknown Hirundichthys affinis, Cheilopogon cyanopterus, C. heterurus (Exocoetidae)
Huffmanela shikokuensis Moravec et al., 1998 [10] unknown Stephanolepis cirrhifer (Monacanthidae)

Medical interest

All known species of Huffmanela are strictly parasite of fishes, and none can infest humans. However, cases of spurious parasitism have been described in the medical literature from coprological studies.[20] Since infestation of fish are often heavy, with millions of eggs in a single fish,[7] it is understandable that consumption of such an infested fish, even well cooked, can results in numerous eggs in human feces. Because of their polar plugs, eggs of nematodes of the genera Anatrichosoma, Capillaria or Trichuris can sometimes induce misidentifications.[24]


  1. ^ a b c d e Moravec, František. 1987: Revision of Capillariid Nematodes (Subfamily Capillariinae) parasitic in fishes. Studie ČSAV No. 3, Academia, Praha, 141 pp.
  2. ^ Žd'árská, Z., Huffman, D. G., Moravec, F. & Nebesářová, J. 2001: Egg shell ultrastructure of the fish nematode Huffmanela huffmani (Trichosomoididae). Folia Parasitologica, 48, 231-234.
  3. ^ a b c d e Moravec, František. 2001: Trichinelloid Nematodes parasitic in cold-blooded vertebrates. Academia, Praha (ISBN 80-200-0805-5)
  4. ^ a b c d e f Justine, Jean-Lou (2004). "Three new species of Huffmanela Moravec, 1987 (Nematoda: Trichosomoididae) from the gills of marine fish off New Caledonia". Systematic Parasitology 59 (1): 29–37.  
  5. ^ Conboy, G. A.; Speare. "J 2002: Dermal nematodosis in commercially captured rockfish (Sebastes spp.) from coastal British Columbia, Canada". Journal of Comparative Pathology 127: 211–213.  
  6. ^ a b c Justine, J.-L. & Iwaki, T. 2014: Huffmanela hamo sp. n. (Nematoda: Trichosomoididae: Huffmanelinae) from the dagger-tooth pike conger Muraenesox cinereus off Japan. Folia Parasitologica, 61, 267–271 doi:10.14411/fp.2014.029 Free PDF
  7. ^ a b c d Justine, Jean-Lou, 2007: Huffmanela spp. (Nematoda, Trichosomoididae) parasites in coral reef fishes off New Caledonia, with descriptions of H. balista n. sp. and H. longa n. sp. Zootaxa, 1628, 23-41. Abstract Article
  8. ^ a b Justine, Jean-Lou (2011). "Huffmanela plectropomi n. sp. (Nematoda: Trichosomoididae: Huffmanelinae) from the coralgrouper Plectropomus leopardus (Lacépède) off New Caledonia". Systematic Parasitology 79: 139–143.  
  9. ^ a b Moravec, F. E.; Conboy, G. A.; Speare. "J 2005: A new trichosomoidid from the skin of Sebastes spp. (Pisces) from British Columbia, Canada". Journal of Parasitology 91: 411–414.  
  10. ^ a b c Moravec, F.; Koudela, B.; Ogawa, K.; Nagasawa, K. (1998). "Two new Huffmanela species, H. japonica n. sp. and H. shikokuensis n. sp (Nematoda: Trichosomoididae), from marine fishes in Japan". Journal of Parasitology 84: 589–593.  
  11. ^ a b Justine, J.-L. (2005). "Huffmanela lata n. sp. (Nematoda: Trichosomoididae: Huffmanelinae) from the shark Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos (Elasmobranchii: Carcharhinidae) off New Caledonia". Systematic Parasitology 61 (3): 181–184.  
  12. ^ a b Moravec, F.; Fajer-Avila, E. (2000). "Huffmanela mexicana n. sp (Nematoda: Trichosomoididae) from the marine fish Sphoeroides annulatus in Mexico". Journal of Parasitology 86: 1229–1231.  
  13. ^ a b Carballo, M. C.; Navone, G. T. (2007). "A new Huffmanela species (Nematoda: Trichosomoididae) parasitizing atherinid fishes in North Patagonian Gulfs, Argentina". Journal of Parasitology 93: 377–382.  
  14. ^ a b Moravec, F.; Garibaldi, F. (2000). "Huffmanela paronai sp. n. (Nematoda: Trichosomoididae), a new parasite from the skin of swordfish Xiphias gladius in the Ligurian Sea (Western Mediterranean)". Folia Parasitologica 47: 309–313.  
  15. ^ a b Moravec, F.; Campbell, B. G. (1991). "A new Huffmanela species, H. schouteni sp. n. (Nematoda, Trichosomoididae) from flying fishes in Curaçao". Folia Parasitologica 38: 29–32. 
  16. ^ a b Ruiz, C. F., Ray, C. L., Cook, M., Grace, M. A. & Bullard, S. A. 2012: A new species of Trichosomoididae (Nematoda) from skin of red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus (Perciformes: Lutjanidae), on the Texas-Louisiana shelf, Northern Gulf of Mexico. Journal of Parasitology. doi:10.1645/GE-3249.1
  17. ^ a b Ruiz, C. F.& Bullard, S. A. 2013: Huffmanela markgracei sp. n. (Nematoda: Trichosomoididae) from buccal cavity of Atlantic sharpnose shark, Rhizoprionodon terraenovae (Carcharhiniformes: Carcharhinidae), in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico off Texas. Folia Parasitologica, 60, 353–358
  18. ^ a b Huffman, D. G. & Moravec, F. 1988: First description of adult Huffmanela huffmani Moravec, 1987 (Nematoda: Trichosomoididae) from the swimbladder of centrachid fishes of the upper San Marcos River, central Texas. Folia Parasitologica, 35, 227-234.
  19. ^ Esteves, A., Seixas, F., Carvalho, S., Nazario, N., Mendes, M. & Martins, C. 2009: Huffmanela sp (Nematoda: Trichosomoididae) muscular parasite from Trisopterus luscus captured off the Portuguese coast. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 84, 251-255. doi:10.3354/dao02048
  20. ^ a b Gállego, J., Riera, C. & Portús, M. 1993: Huffmanela sp. eggs (Nematoda: Trichosomoididae), as a human spurious parasite in a child from Barcelona (Spain). Folia Parasitologica, 40, 208-210. Free PDF
  21. ^ MacLean, R. A.; Fatzinger, M. H.; Woolard, K. D.; Harms, C. A. (2006). "Clearance of a dermal Huffmanela sp in a sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus) using levamisole". Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 73: 83–88.  
  22. ^ Mendes, M., Madeira de Carvalho, L. M., Ramos, P., Fazendeiro, I. & Afonso-Roque, M. M. (2005). Presence of Huffmanela eggs (Nematoda: Trichosomoididae), in the faneca muscle - Trisopterus luscus (Linnaeus, 1758) of the coast of Portugal. Paper presented at the IX Congresso Ibérico de Parasitologia, 25–28 October 2005, Coimbra, Portugal.
  23. ^ Bullard, S. A.; Ruiz, C. F.; McElwain, A.; Murray, M. J.; Borucinska, J. D.; Benz, G. W. (2012). "Huffmanela cf. carcharhini (Nematoda: Trichosomoididae: Huffmanelinae) from skin of a sandbar shark, Carcharhinus plumbeus, in the Pacific Ocean". Journal of Parasitology 98: 333–340.  
  24. ^ Núñez, F.A. 2010. Trichuris, Capillaria or Anitrichosoma [sic]?, Parasitology International, 59, 303 doi:10.1016/j.parint.2010.02.008

External links

  • HuffmanelaZooBank record for
  • WoRMS. "Huffmanela".  
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