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Description and systematic affinity of Alaninema ngata n. sp. (Alaninematidae: Panagrolaimorpha) parasitising leaf-veined slugs (Athoracophoridae: Pulmonata) in New Zealand

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For more content, see Nematologica.

A new Alaninema species associated with leaf-veined slugs (Athoracophoridae) in New Zealand is described and illustrated. Alaninema ngata n. sp. is characterised by a very long, cylindrical body, rounded head bearing two circles of cephalic papillae and amphids, shallow stoma with three bifid teeth, muscular, cylindroid pharynx lacking valves, enlarged, rounded cardia, nerve ring crossing the anterior intestine, excretory pore situated just posterior to nerve ring, monodelphic females with post-median vulva, thick-shelled eggs covered with prominent tubercles, monorchic males with short testis reflection, reduced number of male genital papillae, strong equal spicules and gubernaculum and tail tip bearing about 20 digitate processes. It is distinguished from A. venmansi and A. njoroensis by having a larger body size (mean 8.3 mm and 13.8 mm in males and females, respectively vs 8.2 mm females in A. venmansi and 4.8 mm and 5.5 mm in A. njoroensis males and females, respectively) and more anterior vulval position (V = 51.6 vs 70 and 66.4 in A. venmansi and A. njoroensis, respectively). Analyses of a partial 18S rDNA sequence indicate that A. ngata n. sp. is affiliated to the Panagrolaimorpha. The systematic position, host range and distribution of A. ngata n. sp. are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: 1Centre of Parasitology of the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution RAS, Leninskii Prospect 33, 119071 Moscow, Russia; 2: 2Emeritus Professor of Zoology, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand; 3: 3AgResearch, Ruakura Research Centre, Private Bag 3123, Hamilton, New Zealand; 4: 4Landcare Research, Private Bag 3127, Hamilton, New Zealand


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