baptized scientists "Diego Maradona" to a parasite reported in Buenos Aires

Researchers from the Center for Parasitological and Vector Studies (CEPAVE) found, in a fish commonly known as “cascarudo”, a parasite of which there was no record until now and named it Diegoglossidium Maradonai, in honor of the Argentine star player. The discovery was made in the Buñirigo creek, Magdalena district, while carrying out daily research tasks. Although it belonged to an already determined family of parasites, the genus and species were unknown.

The first surprise for the scientists was finding the cascarudo, a native fish, but found mainly in northeastern Argentina. However, his analysis was more innovative: in the intestines they found a parasite that had large, round suckers and an ovary composed of seven lobes. Furthermore, the shape of the reproductives and the arrangement of the vitellars were different from what had been recorded so far in other genera.

These characteristics, which are not common in fish, intrigued experts. In the search for a link or bond with another species, they did a DNA test and came to the conclusion that there was no document that reported the presence of the parasite in these animals.

The surprise was greater when they discovered that the parasite was not in any other fish, whether in the cracker or another. Although it belongs to the family called Alloglossidiidae, they discovered a new genus and species. What does this imply? Parasites are divided into genera, species and families.. When it comes to many species, there are two categories that scientists use to differentiate them. In turn, the genus is a higher classification than the species, as it can include several at the same time. Finally, the family is a superior category because it includes multiple genera.

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This led Martín Montes, a researcher at CEPAVE (a center that depends on Conicet, the Commission for Scientific Research of the Province of Buenos Aires and the UNLP), to have to name the parasite, something like a first and last name. As the zoological code allows researchers to put the name they wantas long as it is not offensive or defamatory, Montes named the genus Diegoglossidium and the species Maradonai.

The suffix glossidium, which derives from the name of the genus, comes from “glossa”, which means “tongue” in Greek, corresponding to the shape of the parasite, similar to the mouth organ. In addition, according to the researcher’s words, alludes to the Argentine player, who had a sharp tongue on and off the field.

While putting Diego Maradona on a parasite could be considered a mockery or offense, dedications in biology are always a compliment. From now on, if a new species of parasite belonging to the same genus appears, its name should be Diegoglossidium.

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