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On the Morphology and Systematic Position of the Family Meyliidae (Nematoda: Chromadoria)

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Meylia alata from the North Sea and Gerlachius lissus from the White Sea, both taxa of the Meyliidae, have several morphological features in common: 1) short pharynx, with nerve ring at the narrow posterior part, and protruded pharyngeal glands lying free along the intestine; 2) two prominent pseudocoelomocytes in between the cardia and reproductive system; 3) absence of rectum and anus; 4) unusual female gonads combining antidrom and outstretched ovary types in which oocytes increase successively in size in the direction of the vulva although oogonia issue from the germinal zone in the direction opposite to the vulva. The meyliid species share the last three characteristics with the genus Cyartonema. The pharynx type in the meyliids may be interpreted as a derivative condition in comparison with the type in Cyartonema. The families Meyliidae De Coninck, 1965 and Cyartonematidae Tchesunov, 1990 are considered to be sister taxa from which the Meyliidae is in general more apomorph. Diagnoses are given for the superfamily Meylioidea, and the families Meyliidae and Cyartonematidae.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University, Moscow, 119899, Russia


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