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Scanning Electron Micrographs of the Head Region of Some Species of Aphelenchoidea (Aphelenchina: Nematoda)

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The head regions of eighteen species in eight genera, representing six subfamilies in three families, of the Aphelenchoidea were examined with a scanning electron microscope for characters which might be helpful in the taxonomy of this group. All species have the same basic hexaradiate pattern, with a cephalic plate with two subdorsal, two lateral and two subventral lip sectors. The amphidial apertures are widely spaced and located slightly dorsally on the lateral lip sectors, towards the edge of the cephalic plate. There is a prominent cephalic papilla on the outer margin of each of the other four lip sectors. Many specimens have six small papillae or depressions close to the stomatal aperture and these are the inner labial papillae. A second ring of six raised areas probably represents the lips (sensu stricto) which correspond with the position of the outer labial papillae. Several Aphelenchoides spp. have a lip region surrounded by a deep groove so that the lips are contained within a labial disc. The cephalic plate patterns of Aphelenchus and Paraphelenchus are similar to each other and without a labial disc. Huntaphelenchoides, Cryptaphelenchoides and Seinura have the most prominent lips and lip sectors and the Seinura sp. has additional lateral lobes between the stomatal aperture and lateral lips. All of the species, except one Aphelenchoides, have fine annular striations on the head region behind the cephalic plate.

Affiliations: 1: Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden, Herts, England


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