Morphology, phylogeny and evolution of the superfamily Plectoidea Örley, 1880 (Nematoda: Plectida

O.V. Holovachov

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The phylogeny and classification of the superfamily Plectoidea Örley, 1880 is revised on the basis of published and updated morphological data for 35 ingroup and 2 outgroup species. The following features are here considered to support the monophyletic origin of the superfamily: 1) stegostom developed and differentiated into two sections; 2) dorsal gland orifice opening into the second stegostom section; 3) pharynx cylindrical, with distinct subdivision into corpus and postcorpus by the orifices of the subventral pharyngeal glands and a discontinuity in the muscular pharyngeal tissue; 4) corpus cylindrical, with subdivision into procorpus and metacorpus homologues; 5) pharyngeal radii of the corpus with prominent pharyngeal tubes along the procorpus; 6) cuticular lumen of the basal part of postcorpus (within basal bulb if latter is present) is modified to form a valvular apparatus. In addition the inner labial sensilla open inside the cheilostom. New data on postembryonic development of Anaplectus grandepapillatus (Ditlevsen, 1928), Plectus parietinus Bastian, 1865, P. decens Andrássy, 1985 and P. communis Bütschli, 1873 are given and supplemented with a discussion of the phylogenetic significance of the ontogeny in Plectoidea. Following the proposal of a phylogeny, some key events in the evolution of Plectidae Örley, 1880 are discussed. It is suggested that the superfamily Plectoidea includes four families: Pakiridae Inglis, 1983, Chronogastridae Gagarin, 1975, Metateratocephalidae Eroshenko, 1973 and Plectidae. Plectolaimus supplementatus Keppner, 1988 is transferred to the genus Caribplectus Andrássy, 1973. The genus Keralanema Siddiqi, 2003 is considered a junior synonim of Chronogaster Cobb, 1913. The genus Chiloplectus Andrássy, 1984 is considered a junior synonim of Plectus Bastian, 1865. The family Anaplectidae Zell, 1993 is downgraded to the subfamily level
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-672
JournalAnnales zoologici
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • n-sp nematoda
  • revised taxonomy
  • phylum nematoda
  • genus
  • ultrastructure
  • classification
  • araeolaimida
  • leptolaimidae
  • rhabditidae
  • sequences

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