Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 64, Issue 3, pp 442–448 | Cite as

Morphological and Genetic Characterization of the Poorly Known Species Subulura chinensis Schwartz, 1926 (Nematoda: Ascaridida) from Athene noctua (Scopoli) (Strigiformes: Strigidae)

  • Ning Guo
  • Lu-Ping Zhang
  • Lin-Wei Li
  • Liang LiEmail author
Original Paper



Subulura chinensis Schwartz, 1926 is a hitherto poorly known nematode species. The morphology of S. chinensis has not been sufficiently well described. In addition, the molecular data from species of the Subuluroidea are extremely limited.


The detailed morphology of S. chinensis was studied using light microscopy and, for the first time, scanning electron microscopy, based on newly collected specimens from the little owl Athene noctua (Scopoli) (Strigiformes: Strigidae) in China. The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of ribosomal DNA and mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) target regions of S. chinensis were first amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), then sequenced and analysed for the molecular identification of this species.


Our SEM observations showed for the fist time the detailed morphology of the cephalic extremity, precloacal pseudo-sucker, caudal papillae, gubernaculum, phasmids and vulva of S. chinensis, and also determined the presence of a small, single medio-ventral precloacal papilla in the male. Moreover, we detected the presence of 0.08–0.40% and 0–1.30% nucleotide divergence among different individuals of S. chinensis in the ITS and cox1 regions, respectively. The supplementary morphological characters and genetic data will be very useful for the diagnosis of this poorly known species.


Parasite Nematoda Bird Subuluroidea Strigiformes Redescription SEM Molecular data 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC-31572231) and the Youth Top Talent Support Program of Hebei Province for Liang Li.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Cram E (1927) Bird parasites of nematode suborders Strongylata, Ascaridata and Spirurata. Bull United States Nat Museum 140:135–146Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ilyas R (1982) A key to the sixty two species of Subulura Molin, 1860 and a new species of Subulura from Turdoides somervillei. Riv Parassitol 43:33–41Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ming Z, Zhang L-P (2010) Subulura (Murisubulura) tanjinensis sp. nov. (Nematoda, Subuluroidea) from Eutamias sibiricus (Laxmann) (Rodentia) in Tianjin, China. Acta Parasitol 55:133–137. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Baruš V, Mašová Š, Koubková B, Sitko J (2013) Subulura mackoi n. sp. (Nematoda: Subuluridae) and the zoogeography of subulurids parasitizing birds. Helminthologia 50:46–56. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Du L-Q, Xu Z, Li S-C, Li L (2014) Subulura halli (Ascaridida: Subuluridae) from the endangered great bustard Otis tarda Linnaeus (Aves: Gruiformes) in China. Folia Parasitol 61:69–75. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Vicente JJ, Sluys MV, Fontes AF, Kiefer MC (2000) Subulura lacertilia sp. n. Nematoda, Subuluridae) parasitizing the Brazilian lizard Tropidurus nanuzae Rodrigues (Lacertilia, Tropiduridae). Revista Brasileira Zool 17:1065–1068. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Schwartz B (1926) Parasitic nematodes from China. Proc US Natl Mus 68:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Li H-C (1933) Report on a collection of parasitic nematodes mainly from North China. Part II. Oxyuroidea. Chin Med J 47:1307–1325. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Yamaguti Y (1936) Studies on the helminth fauna of Japan Part 12. Avian nematodes, I. Jpn J Zool 6:404–431. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yin W-Z (1973) Helminthes of birds and wild animals from Lin-Tsan Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China II. Parasitic nematodes of mammals. Acta Zool Sin 19:354–364 (in Chinese, English summary) Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wu S-Q (1973) Helminths of birds and wild animals from Lin-Tsan Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China (I. Parasitic nematodes of birds). Acta Zool Sin 19:341–353 (in Chinese, English summary) Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wang P (1980) Studies on some new nematodes of the suborder Oxyurata from Fujian, China. Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica 5:242–252 (in Chinese, English summary) Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kalyanasundaram A, Blanchard KR, Kendall RJ (2017) Molecular identification and characterization of partial COX1 gene from caecal worm (Aulonocephalus pennula) in northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) from the rolling plains ecoregion of Texas. Int J Parasitol 6:195–201. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Zhu X, D’Amelio S, Paggi L, Gasser RB (2000) Assessing sequence variation in the internal transcribed spacers of ribosomal DNA within and among members of the Contracaecum osculatum complex (Nematoda: Ascaridoidea: Anisakidae). Parasitol Res 86:677–683. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lazarova SS, Malloch G, Oliveira CMG, Hubschen J, Neilson R (2006) Ribosomal and mitochondrial DNA analyses of Xiphinema americanum-group populations. J Nematol 38:404–410PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Li L, Ali AH, Zhao W-T, Lü L, Xu Z (2016) First report on nematode parasite infection in the yellowbar angelfish Pomacanthus maculosus (Perciformes: Pomacanthidae) from the Iraqi coral reef, with description of a new species of Cucullanus (Nematoda: Ascaridida) using the integrated approaches. Parasitol Int 65:677–684. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pinto RM (1968) Sôbre un nôvo nematodeo parasito de caboré do campo (Nematoda, Subuluroidea). Atas Soc Biol Rio Janeiro 11:189–190Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    López-Neyra CR (1922) Notas helmintológicas (4 série) con dos species nuevas del género. Allodapa Bol Soc Española Historia Nat Madrid 22:402–418Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    López-Neyra CR (1945) Estudios y revisión de la familia Subuluridae, con descripción de especies nuevas. Rev Iber Parasitol 5:271–329Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Xu Z, Chen H-X, Ju H-D, Li L (2017) Morphological and molecular characterization of Cucullanus bourdini Petter et Le Bel, 1992 (Ascaridida: Cucullanidae) from the yellowback fusilier Caesio xanthonota Bleeker (Perciformes: Caesionidae). Acta Parasitol 62:199–206. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Chen H-X, Zhang L-P, Nakao M, Li L (2018) Morphological and molecular evidence for a new species of the genus Cosmocercoides Wilkie, 1930 (Ascaridida: Cosmocercoidea) from the Asiatic toad Bufo gargarizans Cantor (Amphibia: Anura). Parasitol Res 117:1857–1864. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Zhao W-T, Xu Z, Li L (2018) Morphological variability and molecular characterization of Mawsonascaris australis (Johnston & Mawson, 1943) (Nematoda: Ascaridoidea: Acanthocheilidae) from the brown guitarfish Rhinobatos schlegelii Müller & Henle (Rhinopristiformes: Rhinobatidae). J Helminthol 92:760–764. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Witold Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Hebei Province, College of Life SciencesHebei Normal UniversityShijiazhuangPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations