, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 145-153
Date: 24 Nov 2007

Myrmeconema neotropicum n. g., n. sp., a new tetradonematid nematode parasitising South American populations of Cephalotes atratus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with the discovery of an apparent parasite-induced host morph

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Abstract

A new genus and species of tetradonematid nematode, Myrmeconema neotropicum n. g., n. sp., is described from larval, pupal and adult stages of Cephalotes atratus L. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Peru and Panama. Diagnostic characters of the new genus include: males and females subequal in size; cuticle with minute annulations; six cephalic papillae; stylet present in all stages; stichocytes absent; trophosome degenerate; three penetration glands; gonads paired and opposite; vulva in mid-body region; single spicule; genital papillae absent; adult tails rounded; infective juveniles moult once in egg; and adults of both sexes remain in the host throughout their development. As the female nematodes mature inside the worker ants, the host gasters change colour from black to red.