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Morphological and molecular characterization of Tarantobelus arachnicida gen. n., sp. n. (Nematoda, Rhabditida, Brevibuccidae), a parasitic nematode of tarantulas

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 July 2017

J. Abolafia*
Departamento de Biología Animal, Biología Vegetal y Ecología, Universidad de Jaén, Campus ‘Las Lagunillas’ s/n. 23071-Jaén, Spain
R. Peña-Santiago
Departamento de Biología Animal, Biología Vegetal y Ecología, Universidad de Jaén, Campus ‘Las Lagunillas’ s/n. 23071-Jaén, Spain


A new genus and new species, Tarantobelus arachnicida, was found in the oral opening of tarantula spiders bred in captivity in Poland. The new species is characterized by having a small body (0.77–0.95 mm long in females and 0.66–0.84 mm in males), cuticle poorly annulated by transverse incisures, lateral field inconspicuous, lips separated with small cuticular flaps topping each lip, stoma panagrolaimoid with gymnostom well developed with robust and refringent rhabdia, pharynx panagrolaimoid with isthmus slightly longer than the basal bulb, intestine with cardiac (anterior) and rectal (posterior) areas with narrower walls. Mature females with intestinal cells including needle crystal packs, excretory pore at isthmus level, female reproductive system panagrolaimoid with post-vulval sac 0.4–0.8 times the length of the corresponding body diameter and having very thick walls, vulva very prominent, female rectum 0.8–1.3 times the length of the anal body diameter, female tail conical with acute tip with phasmids at 58–62% of its length. Male tail conical with long and thin mucro, spicules ventrad bent having rounded manubrium and thick gubernaculum. Description, measurements and illustrations of the new species are provided. Molecular analyses show its relationship with Brevibucca and Cuticonema. On the other hand, Medibulla and its corresponding subfamily Medibullinae, previously in Osstellidae, are transferred to Panagrolaimidae, being Shahnematinae, the junior synonym of Medibullinae. Indocephalobus, recently proposed and located in the family Panagrolaimidae, is considered a junior synonym of Diplogastrellus (Diplogasteromorpha), and its only species, I. zebrae, is considered a junior synonym of D. gracilis. In addition, a key to identification of panagrolaimoid genera is included.

Research Paper
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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