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Heterorhabditis amazonensis n. sp. (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae) from Amazonas, Brazil

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For more content, see Nematologica.

In a survey of entomopathogenic nematodes in Brazil, a nematode isolate of the genus Heterorhabditis was found. The nematode was collected from soil by the insect-baiting technique and maintained in the laboratory on last instar Galleria mellonella (L.) larvae. Morphological and molecular studies of the isolate showed that the nematode is a new species. Light and scanning electron microscopy, DNA characterisation and phylogeny were used for this description. Heterorhabditis amazonensis n. sp. is morphologically similar to H. baujardi, H. floridensis, H. mexicana and H. indica, and can be distinguished from these species mainly by male and female characters. Fifty percent of Heterorhabditis amazonensis n. sp. males have two pairs of bursal papillae in the terminal group; 25% with two papillae on one side and one papilla on the other side and 25% with one pair of papillae. Twenty percent of the population has a curved gubernaculum. The percentage of the gubernaculum to spicule length (GS%) is lower than that of H. mexicana (50 vs 56), and the length of the spicule relative to anal body diam. (SW%) is lower than that of H. mexicana (152 vs 167) and H. baujardi (152 vs 182). The female can be differentiated from related species by its unique vulva pattern. In a phylogenetic tree, the new species, H. floridensis, H. baujardi and H. mexicana form a monophyletic group, a sister group to H. indica. The new species has evolved three autapomorphic nucleotide character states, differing from its sister taxa H. mexicana at 22, and H. baujardi at 15, aligned positions.


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