Abstract

The nematode family Aphelenchoididae is a highly divergent group that contains plant parasites, predators, fungal feeders, and insect parasites. It is taxonomically separated into 7 subfamilies. Although molecular phylogenetic relationships among 6 of the subfamilies have been clarified, the phylogenetic position of the subfamily Entaphelenchinae, which is composed of endoparasites of insects, remains unclear. Here, a new entaphelenchid species, Peraphelenchus orientalis n. sp., was isolated from the body cavities of burying beetles, Nicrophorus quadripunctatus, with a 14% prevalence (5 out of 36). The phylogenetic position of the subfamily within the family Aphelenchoididae was determined using morphological and molecular data for the new species. The rRNA sequences suggested that the new species belongs to Clade 3 of Aphelenchoididae, which mostly consists of predators and insect parasites. Although molecular sequences from other entaphelenchid species were not available, the subfamily appears to be monophyletic. The new species is characterized by the absence of a functional rectum and anus and by the presence of 3 pairs of male genital papillae, a loosely coiled male body, and a W-shaped male spicule. Compared with the original description of Peraphelenchus necrophori, P. orientalis n. sp. has significant typological differences, possibly because of misinterpretations during the original description of P. necrophori. Excluding these questionable characters, i.e., presence–absence of functional rectum and anus and number of male genital papillae, the new species is distinguished from P. necrophori by minor morphological characters and morphometric values.

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