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Table 2 Characteristic features of the analysed Malacobdella species

From: DNA barcoding supports identification of Malacobdella species (Nemertea: Hoplonemertea)

Features M. arrokeana (Ivanov et al. 2002 ) M. japonica (Takakura 1897 ) M. grossa (Müller 1776)
Excretory pores Dorso-lateral (40% of length) Dorso-lateral (25% of length) (Yamaoka 1940) Ventro-lateral
Proboscis length Most of the rhynchocoel, 80 to 90 Two thirds of the rhynchocoel length (Yamaoka 1940) Two thirds of the rhynchocoel length
Proboscis retractor muscle Curved dorsally and attached to the body muscular wall Originates ventrally and ends freely in the parenchyma (Yamaoka 1940) Originates ventrally next to the terminal sucker (Riepen 1933)
Ovary colour (mature) White or purple (Teso et al. 2006) Rosy (Yamaoka 1940) Olive green or yellowish green (Gibson 1968)
Testicle colour (mature) Pale rose (Teso et al. 2006) White (Yamaoka 1940) Rosy or pinkish hue (Gibson 1968)
Nerve commissure Dorsal in the posterior part of the intestine just before the anus Far behind the anus along the posterior margin of the sucker (Yamaoka 1940) (posterior around the terminal sucker) Dorsal in the posterior part of intestine, above the anus
Host specificity High (only in Panopea abbreviata) High (only in Spisula sachalinensis) Low (27 species)
Geographic distribution South Atlantic Ocean (from Uruguay to north Patagonian gulfs) North Pacific Ocean (northern Japan) North Atlantic Ocean (Europe and North America) North Pacific Ocean (North America)