Skip to main content

Meteterakis saotomensis n. sp. (Nematoda: Heterakidae) from Schistometopum thomense (Bocage) (Gymnophiona: Dermophiidae) on São Tomé Island


Meteterakis saotomensis n. sp. is described from Schistometopum thomense (Bocage), a gymnophionan endemic to the oceanic island of São Tomé in the Gulf of Guinea. The specimens were assigned to Meteterakis Karve, 1930, based on the possession of a head with three rounded lips, not set-off from the body, the absence of interlabia and cordons, females with a long vagina and males with a preanal sucker, surrounded by a cuticularised rim and caudal alae that are supported by fleshy papillae. The new species is characterised by: body length 4.2–4.5 mm (males) and 5.1–6.4 mm (females); total length of oesophagus, including pharyngeal portion and oesophageal bulb, 820–856 µm (males) and 898–1,070 µm (females); length of pharynx 57–58 µm (males) and 65–68 µm (females); spicules equal, 410–521 µm long, with tessellated ornamentation throughout their length and alae, and with bevelled tip; gubernaculum or ‘gubernacular mass’ absent; tail length 164–176 µm (males) and 214–239 µm (females), with elongated tip; vulva at 2.3–2.8 mm from anterior end, with anterior lip forming small flap. This is the second species of Meteterakis reported from gymnophionan hosts and the first from the Afrotropical region. Selected comparative morphological data for Meteterakis spp. are presented, and data on host range and geographic distribution are updated. The name M. striaturus Oshmarin & Demshin, 1972 is corrected to M. striatura to reflect the female gender of the genus name.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1


  1. Adamson, M. L. (1986). Meteterakis vaucheri n. sp. (Nematoda; Heterakoidea) from Varanus grayi (Varanidae) in the Philippines. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 64, 814–817.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Aisien, S. O., Ayeni, F., & Ilechie, I. (2004). Helminth fauna of anurans from the Guinea savanna at New Bussa, Nigeria. African Zoology, 39, 133–136.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Aisien, M. S. O., Ogoannah, S. O., & Imasuen, A. A. (2009). Helminth parasites of amphibians from a rainforest reserve in southwestern Nigeria. African Zoology, 44, 1–7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Baker, M. R. (1980). Bufonerakis andersoni n. gen. (Nematoda: Heterakoidea) from Bufo arenarum of South America. Journal of Helminthology, 54, 49–53.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Baker, M. R. (1984). The systematics and zoogeography of Spinicaudinae and Meteterakinae (Heterakoidea: Nematoda) parasitic in reptiles and amphibians. Systematic Parasitology, 6, 275–287.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Biswas, P. K., & Chakravarty, G. K. (1963). The systematic studies of the zoo-parasitic oxyuroid nematodes. Zeitschrift für Parasitenkunde, 23, 411–428.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Bursey, C. R., Goldberg, S. R., & Kraus, F. (2005). Endoparasites in Sphenomorphus jobiensis (Sauria: Scincidae) from Papua New Guinea with description of three new species. Journal of Parasitology, 91, 1385–1394.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Canaris, A. G., & Gardner, S. L. (2003). Bibliography of helminth species described from African vertebrates 1800-1967. Faculty Publications from the Harold W. Manter Laboratory of Parasitology. Paper 3. ( (20 December 2014).

  9. Chabaud, A. G. (1978). Keys to genera of the Superfamilies Cosmocercoidea, Seuratoidea, Heterakoidea and Subuluroidea. In: Anderson, R. C., Chabaud, A. G. & Willmott, S. (Eds) CIH keys to the nematode parasites of vertebrates, No. 6. Farnham Royal: Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, pp. 49–61.

  10. Chakravarty, G. K. (1944). On the nematode worms in the collection of the Zoological Laboratory, University of Calcutta. Part I. Families Heterakidae and Kathlanidae. Calcutta University Journal of the Department of Science, New Series, 1, 70–77.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Crusz, H., & Ching, C. C. (1975). Parasites of the relict fauna of Ceylon. VI. More new helminths from amphibians and reptiles, a new host-record and redescription of Acanthocephalus serendibensis Crusz and Mills 1970. Annales de Parasitologie Humaine et Comparée, 50, 531–558.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Crusz, H., & Sanmugasunderam, V. (1973). Parasites of the relict fauna of Ceylon. 3. Nematodes from a rhacophorid frog and reptiles of the hill country. Annales de Parasitologie Humaine et Comparée, 48, 767–795.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Crusz, H., & Santiapillai, A. (1982). Parasites of the relict fauna of Ceylon. VIII. Helminths from Ichthyophis spp. (Amphibia: Gymnophiona). Annales de Parasitologie Humaine et Comparée, 57, 317–327.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Delêtre, M., & Measey, G. J. (2004). Sexual selection vs ecological causation in a sexually dimorphic caecilian, Schistometopum thomense (Amphibia Gymnophiona Caeciliidae). Ethology Ecology & Evolution, 16, 243–253.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Deshmukh, P. G., & Choudhari, A. C. (1980). Meteterakis aurangabadensis n. sp. from toad, Bufo melanostictus. Indian Journal of Parasitology, 4, 37–40.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Frost, D. R. (Ed.) (2014). Amphibian Species of the World: an online reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. ( (20 December 2014).

  17. Gambhir, R. K., Tarnita, T., Chinglenkhomba, A., Gyaneswori, I., & Indrani, C. (2006). A new species of the genus Meteterakis Karve, 1930 (Nematoda: Heterakidae) from Bufo melanostictus Schneider. Flora and Fauna, 12, 57–59.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Gupta, V., & Naiyer, N. (1993). On a new nematode Meteterakis guptai sp. nov. from a lizard Calotes versicolor (Daudin) from Lucknow. Indian Journal of Helmithology, 45, 184–187.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Hasegawa, H. (1987). Meteterakis ishikawanae sp. n. (Nematoda: Heterakidae) from the Frog, Rana ishikawae, on Okinawa Island, Japan. Proceedings of the Helminthological Society of Washington, 54, 237–241.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Hasegawa, H. (1990). Helminths collected from amphibians and reptiles on Amami-Oshima Island, Japan. Memories of the National Science Museum, Tokyo, 23, 83–92.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Hering-Hagenbeck, S. F. B. N., & Boomker, J. (2000). A check-list of the nematode parasites of South African Serpentes (snakes) and Sauria (lizards). Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research, 67, 1–13.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Hsü, H. F. (1933). On some parasitic nematodes collected in China. Parasitology, 24, 512–541.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Inglis, W. G. (1958). A revision of the nematode genus Meteterakis Karve, 1930. Parasitology, 48, 9–31.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Karve, J. N. (1930). Some parasitic nematodes of frogs and toads. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, 24, 481–491.

    Google Scholar 

  25. McAllister, C. T., Bursey, C. R., & Freed, P. S. (2010). Helminth parasites (Cestoidea, Nematoda, Pentastomida) of selected herpetofauna from Cameroon, West Africa. Acta Parasitologica, 55, 90–93.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Measey, G. J., & van Dongen, S. (2006). Bergmann’s rule and the terrestrial caecilian Schistometopum thomense (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae). Evolutionary Ecology Research, 8, 1049–1059.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Myers, B. J., Wolfgang, R. W., & Kuntz, R. E. (1960). Helminth parasites from vertebrates taken in the Sudan (East Africa). Canadian Journal of Zoology, 38, 833–836.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Naidu, T. S. V., & Thakare, V. K. (1981). On two new nematodes from fishes and amphibians of Vidarbha Region, Maharashtra State, India. Rivista di Parassitologia, 42, 415–424.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Oshmarin, P. G., & Demshin, N. I. (1972). The helminths of domestic and some wild animals of the Democratic Republic Vietnam. Trudy Biologo-pochvennogo Instituta Vladivostok, 11, 5–115 (In Russian).

    Google Scholar 

  30. Sandosham, A. A. (1954). Malaysian parasites XV. Seven new worms from miscellaneous hosts. Studies from the Institute for Medical Research, Federation of Malaya, 26, 212–226.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Soota, T. D., & Chaturvedi, Y. (1970). The helminth fauna of Andaman and Nicobar. Part II. Nematoda. Proceedings of the Indian Science Congress Association, 57, 449–450.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Soota, T. D., & Chaturvedi, Y. (1972). The helminth fauna of Andaman and Nicobar. Nematoda. Records of the Zoological Survey of India, 66, 287–301.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Stoelting, R. E., Measey, G. J., & Drewes, R. C. (2014). Population genetics of the São Tomé caecilian (Gymnophiona: Dermophiidae: Schistometopum thomense) reveals strong geographic structuring. PLoS ONE, 9, e104628.

    PubMed Central  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. Uetz, P., & Hošek, J. (2014). The Reptile Database. ( (20 December 2014).

  35. Wang, P.-Q. (1980). Studies on some new nematodes of the suborder Oxyurata from Fujian, China. Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica, 5, 242–252.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Zhang, S. Q., & Zhang, L. P. (2011). A new species of Meteterakis Karve, 1930 (Nematoda: Heterakoidea) from Indotestudo elongata (Blyth) in China with a key to the species of Meteterakis. Zootaxa, 2869, 63–68.

    Google Scholar 

Download references


GJM would like to thank the DST-NRF Centres of Excellence for Invasive Biology. Marc Delêtre is recognised for his help with dissecting hosts. Professor Luping Zhang (Hebei Normal University) kindly provided a copy of a paper from a journal we found difficult to obtain.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kerstin Junker.

Ethics declarations


This work was supported by a visit grant of the Natural History Museum of Geneva, Switzerland, and a grant of the National Research Foundation, South Africa, to one of the authors (KJ). Any opinion, finding and conclusion or recommendation expressed in this material is that of the authors and the NRF does not accept any liability in this regard. Field-work by GJM was supported through a European Commission Marie Curie Fellowship: HPMF-CT-2001-01407.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable institutional, national and international guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Junker, K., Mariaux, J., Measey, G.J. et al. Meteterakis saotomensis n. sp. (Nematoda: Heterakidae) from Schistometopum thomense (Bocage) (Gymnophiona: Dermophiidae) on São Tomé Island. Syst Parasitol 92, 131–139 (2015).

Download citation


  • Body Length
  • Excretory Pore
  • Longe Tail
  • Afrotropical Region
  • Maximum Body Width