Description of Phasmarhabditiscalifornica n. sp. and first report of P. papillosa (Nematoda: Rhabditidae) from invasive slugs in the USA

In: Nematology
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  • 1 1Department of Nematology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
  • | 2 2Department of Zoology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Box 50007, SE-104 05 Stockholm, Sweden
  • | 3 3Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
  • | 4 4Nematology Unit, Department of Biology, Ghent University, K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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A new species of Phasmarhabditis and the known species P. papillosa were isolated from cadavers of invasive slugs in California. Phasmarhabditis papillosa is the type of the genus and has not previously been reported from the Americas. Both species are characterised based on morphology, morphometrics and molecular data. Molecular phylogenies were inferred from concatenated DNA sequence alignments of nearly complete SSU and the D2-D3 domains of the LSU rDNA. Phasmarhabditis californica n. sp. is characterised by a robust body, mature egg-laying specimens almost spindle-shaped when relaxed, 1.5 (1.3-1.8) mm long, tapering to a bluntly rounded anterior end with stoma about as long as lip region diam., six inner labial papillae and four outer cephalic papillae, pharynx with rounded to pyriform basal bulb, vulva located halfway along the body, hermaphroditic, didelphic, amphidelphic, and short, conoid tail constricted at one-third its length with prominent phasmids. Not a single male was found among five strains. Phasmarhabditis papillosa is gonochoristic and has a longer isthmus, pyriform basal bulb and longer, dome-shaped spicate female tail constricted halfway along its length. Sequence analysis revealed unambiguous autapomorphies for P. papillosa and P. californica n. sp. Phylogenetic analyses placed these two species in a monophyletic clade comprising Phasmarhabditis species and other gastropod-parasitic taxa. Morphology, genetic distance, reproductive strategy and nucleotide autapomorphies support the new taxon.

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