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A New Classification of Actinolaimoidea Thorne, 1939 Using a Cladistic Approach

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The phylogeny of Actinolaimoidea is investigated using a cladistic approach. The most important diagnostic characters of genera are examined and for each of them the apomorphic and the plesiomorphic state is indicated. On the basis of the synapomorphies shared by genera a new taxonomy of the group is proposed. The whole group is lowered in rank to family status, Actinolaimidae, in the Dorylaimoidea. Within it three subfamilies are recognized: Trachypleurosinae, without onchia, with the single genus Trachypleurosum; Hexactinolaiminae, with six onchia, with the single genus Hexactinolaimus; Actinolaiminae, with four onchia, comprising all the other genera: Trachactinolaimus, Paractinolaimus, Egtitus, Westindicus, Afractinolaimus, Neoactinolaimus, Mactinolaimus, Metactinolaimus, Actinolaimus, Parastomachoglossa, Brasilaimus, Stomachoglossa, Actinca, Brittonema and Practinocephalus. The identity of Brasilaimus and its relationship with Stomachoglossa are discussed. Keys to the subfamilies and genera and a list of the nominal species of the family, with their geographical distribution, are supplied. The chorology of Actinolaimidae is discussed and related to their phylogenesis.

Affiliations: 1: Dipartimento di Biologia Animale, Università di Catania, Italia


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