A mermithid nematode, Cretacimermis aphidophilus sp. n. (Nematoda: Mermithidae), parasitising an aphid (Hemiptera: Burmitaphididae) in Myanmar amber: a 100 million year association

in Nematology
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A new species of fossil mermithid, Cretacimermis aphidophilus sp. n. (Nematoda: Mermithidae), is described from the primitive extinct aphid, Caulinus burmitis (Hemiptera: Burmitaphididae), in mid-Cretaceous Myanmar amber. Aphid parasitism by mermithid nematodes is rare today with only two known cases involving root-feeding aphids. Based on the habits of the parasitised extant aphid hosts, it is likely that the fossil aphid was also a root parasite and encountered the infective stage mermithid in the soil. Such fossils provide rare glimpses of nematode-host associations from the distant past and provide minimum dates for the appearance of specific mermithid clades.

A mermithid nematode, Cretacimermis aphidophilus sp. n. (Nematoda: Mermithidae), parasitising an aphid (Hemiptera: Burmitaphididae) in Myanmar amber: a 100 million year association

in Nematology



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  • View in gallery

    Ventral view of the aphid, Caulinus burmitis, with its mermithid parasite, Cretacimermis aphidophilus sp. n. (arrow), in Myanmar amber. (Scale bar = 1.2 mm.)

  • View in gallery

    Cretacimermis aphidophilus sp. n. in Myanmar amber. A: Rounded tail with partially shed postparasitic juvenile cuticle containing a minute tail appendage (arrow); B: Anterior body portion showing pharynx (upper arrow) and trophosome (lower arrow); C: Initials of vulva (arrow) and vagina. (Scale bars: A = 28 μm; B = 48 μm; C = 36 μm.)


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