Genetic and morphological variability of whipworms Trichuris Roederer, 1761 (Nematoda: Trichuridae), parasites of small rodents in southwestern Europe, was studied. Isozyme patterns of natural populations of nematodes parasitizing rodent species of the Muridae (Apodemus sylvaticus, Apodemus flavicollis, Mus musculus) and Arvicolidae (Clethrionomys glareolus, Microtus agrestis, Microtus arvalis) were analyzed at 6 putative loci. Two diagnostic loci were found in T. muris from Muridae and from Arvicolidae. Thus, the existence of 2 species of Trichuris restricted to different host families was indicated. They included Trichuris muris Schrank, 1788, originally described as being from mice, and Trichuris arvicolae n. sp., parasitizing the above species of Arvicolidae. The morphological variability of both species was compared. Although ranges of all morphological characters of the new species overlapped with those of T. muris, stepwise discriminant analysis yielded a 100% accurate classification of females when using vagina length and egg size. Males of T. muris and T. arvicolae cannot be separated entirely. A set of 6 variables yielded 95.7% discrimination; the most discriminating variables were spicule size and body width.

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