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Description of Halicephalobus similigaster (Andrássy, 1952) and a comparison with its junior synonyms H. minutus (Körner, 1954) syn. n. and H. parvus (Körner, 1954) syn. n. (Nematoda: Panagrolaimidae)

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Specimens of three populations of Halicephalobus Timm, 1956 from rotten wood and slime flux were studied and compared with measurements of the original descriptions of the wood-inhabiting H. minutus, H. parvus and H. similigaster. The main distinguishing features such as vulva position and tail length are highly variable in the specimens of the isolates studied here and include the ranges given in the descriptions of the three Halicephalobus species known from similar habitats so far. This study shows that the differentiating characters used in the literature are not possible to apply for the wood-inhabiting Halicephalobus species when studying cultured live specimens. In conclusion, the three nominal species of wood-inhabiting Halicephalobus are based on type specimens that actually belong to the same species. Halicephalobus minutus syn. n. and H. parvus syn. n. are therefore proposed as junior synonyms of H. similigaster. A description of H. similigaster is given.

Affiliations: 1: AG Evolutionsbiologie, Institut für Biologie/Zoologie, Freie Universität Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany;, Email: arne-koehler@gmx.de

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