Siddall, Mark E. Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York.
Last reviewed:October 2019
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An order of ectoparasitic annelid worms consisting of one species, Acanthobdella peledina, which feeds on the dermal tissues of freshwater salmonid fishes in the far regions of Northern Europe. The order Acanthobdellida is taxonomically odd in that it comprises a single family, Acanthobdellidae; a single genus, Acanthobdella; and a single species, Acanthobdella peledina (see illustration). This unusual status reflects the equally unusual combination of characteristics that the worm exhibits, in a manner that reflects the expectation of “transitional forms” that Charles Darwin considered to be a central prediction of his theory on the origin of species. See also: Annelida
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