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Thelastomatoidea (Nematoda: Oxyurida) of the Australian giant burrowing cockroach, Macropanesthia rhinoceros (Blaberidae: Geoscapheinae)

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The thelastomatoid fauna of Macropanesthia rhinoceros was examined from 13 localities across its range in Queensland, Australia. Nine species of thelastomatoids, including two representing new genera, Geoscaphenema megaovum n. g., n. sp. and Jaidenema rhinoceratum n. g., n. sp., were found. Macropanesthia rhinoceros is reported as a new host for seven species previously recorded from Panesthia cribrata (Blaberidae: Panesthiinae) and P. tryoni tryoni, viz, Blattophila sphaerolaima, Leidynemella fusiformis, Cordonicola gibsoni, Travassosinema jaidenae, Coronostoma australiae, Hammerschmidtiella hochi and Desmicola ornata. Overall estimated richness for the system ranged from 10.1-13.5 species. The high degree of parasite faunal overlap between M. rhinoceros and the two Panesthia species is surprising given the disparate ecological niches that they occupy; P. cribrata and P. tryoni tryoni burrow in, and feed upon, moist decaying wood and require a climate that is moist all year round, whereas M. rhinoceros burrows in loose soil, feeds on fallen leaf litter and is tolerant of much drier environments.


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