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Nematodes associated with palm and sugarcane weevils in South Florida with a description of Acrostichus floridensis n. sp.

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During a 2016 survey of the nematode associates of the native palmetto weevil, Rhynchophorus cruentatus, and the recently introduced West Indian sugarcane weevil, Metamasius hemipterus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), from southern Florida, a new species of Acrostichus was cultured from a single dissected R. cruentatus from Fort Pierce, FL, USA. Morphological and molecular studies showed that it was new to science and it is described herein as A. floridensis n. sp. The new species is characterised by its male tail characters, spicule morphology with rounded manubrium separated from other parts by clear constriction, smoothly ventrally curved blade, slightly dorsally recurved and pointed tip, more or less straight gubernaculum with widely rounded anterior end and a triangular (arrowhead-like) appendage at the distal tip, and the arrangement of male genital papillae, ⟨(v1, v2), v3 / v4, ad, ph, (v5, v6, v7, pd)⟩. In addition to A. floridensis n. sp. and the previously described nematode associates of R. cruentatus, i.e., A. rhynchophori, Teratorhabditis palmarum and Mononchoides sp., we recovered a putative new species of Demaniella and a new association record with Rhabditidoides humicolus and Diplogastrellus metamasius in Homestead, FL. Dissections and subsequent culturing attempts with M. hemipterus revealed the previously described nematode associates of Caenorhabditis angaria and D. metamasius as well as a new association with R. humicolus in Homestead, FL, USA.

Affiliations: 1: 1Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, University of Florida/IFAS, 3205 College Avenue, Davie, FL 33314, USA ; 2: 2Forest Pathology Laboratory, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, 1 Matsunosato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan ; 3: 3Department of Entomology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, 38000 Pakistan

*Corresponding author, e-mail:

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