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Type: Article
Published: 2023-05-03
Page range: 585-599
Abstract views: 642
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Rediscovery of Bipalium admarginatum de Beauchamp, 1933 (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Geoplanidae) in Malaysia, with molecular characterisation including the mitogenome

Faculty of Applied Science; UCSI University; Kuala Lumpur; Malaysia
Institute of Marine and Environmental Sciences; University of Szczecin; Szczecin; Poland
30 Hurle Crescent; Bristol; BS8 2SZ; UK
James Cook University; Townsville; Queensland; Australia.
ISYEB; Institut de Systématique; Évolution; Biodiversité (UMR7205 CNRS; EPHE; MNHN; UPMC; Université des Antilles); Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle; CP 51; 55 rue Buffon; 75231 Paris Cedex 05; France
Platyhelminthes Land flatworms 18S EF1-α mitochondrial genome phylogeny


We present here the first observation of Bipalium admarginatum de Beauchamp, 1933 since its original description 90 years ago. Three specimens were found on Perhentian Kecil Island, off Terengganu State, Malaysia and photographed in the field, and two were collected. This report thus includes the first colour photographs published for this species, from a locality close to the type-locality, Tioman Island (which is ca. 200 km south of the locality in this study, on the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia). We describe the external morphology and colour pattern of the species, which correspond well to the original description, itself based only on two preserved specimens. We performed an in-depth molecular characterisation of the species, including its complete mitochondrial genome, the 18S sequence and elongation 1-alpha (EF1-α) sequence. In addition, EF1-α sequences were also retrieved for 5 additional geoplanid species. No tRNA-Thr could be detected in the mitogenome of B. admarginatum, a lack already reported in several species of geoplanids, but we found a 13 bp sequence that contains the anticodon loop and seems to be conserved among geoplanids and might thus possibly represent a non-canonical undetected tRNA. We discuss the difficulties encountered in trying to reconstruct the cluster of nuclear ribosomal genes, a problem already mentioned for other Triclads. Three phylogenies, based respectively on all mitochondrial proteins, 18S, and EF1-α, were computed; the position of B. admarginatum within the Bipaliinae was confirmed in each tree, as sister-group to various bipaliine species according to the sequences available for each tree. In the mitochondrial proteins tree, which had high support, B. admarginatum was sister to Bipalium kewense and Diversibipalium multilineatum.



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