The spirurid nematode, Paraspirura bettinae n. sp., described from Mabuya spilogaster (Scincidae) in South Africa (Molopo Reserve), can be distinguished from the single known species of the genus, Paraspirura mabuyae Sandground, 1936 (also reviewed) by the larger size of the eggs, the shape of the tail of the female, and the smaller body size in both sexes. The cephalic anatomy of Paraspirura spp. does not fit the original description but appears similar to that of spirurid parasites of mammals, Spirura spp. and Protospirura spp. Previous descriptions did not mention the rim and bulges in members of Protospirura. Paraspirura appears close to Protospirura, particularly to Protospirura muricola from the Ethiopian region, but it is distinct because of the persistence of the larval caudal tubercles in the adult stage, the simple right spicule without alae, and the more developed rim and bulges. The species parasitic in saurians may have arisen from Protospirura spp. by capture, or the spirurids of mammals may have been derived from species of Paraspirura and quickly split into a Protospirura line and a more specialized Spirura assemblage.

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