ABSTRACT

The nematode genus Bidigiticauda has 2 species (Bidigiticauda vivipara and Bidigiticauda embryophilum), which are parasites of bats from the Neotropical region. The present paper describes a new species of Bidigiticauda from a male Artibeus planirostris specimen collected in the Pratigi Environmental Protection Area in Bahia state, Brazil. The new species, Bidigiticauda serrafreirei n. sp., differs from B. embryophilum by having longer spicules, rays 5 and 6 arising from a common trunk and bifurcating in its first third, rays 3 and 4 emerging slightly separated from each other, and dorsal rays reaching the margin of the caudal bursa. The new species also differs from B. vivipara by the dorsal ray bifurcating at the extremity of the trunk. A molecular phylogenetic analysis was conducted to determine the evolutionary affinities of Bidigiticauda serrafreirei n. sp. within the Strongylida, which identified a clade that grouped Bidigiticauda with the other members of the Anoplostrongylinae. However, the molineid subfamilies did not group together, indicating that the family Molineidae is polyphyletic. Further analyses, which include additional taxa and genetic markers, should elucidate the complex relationships within the Molineidae, in particular its subfamilies and the evolution of the traits that define these groups.

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