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Description, molecular characterization and life cycle of Serpentirhabdias mussuranae n. sp. (Nematoda: Rhabdiasidae) from Clelia clelia (Reptilia: Colubroidea) in Brazil

  • Y. Kuzmin (a1), V.V. Tkach (a2) and F.T.V. Melo (a3)


Serpentirhabdias mussuranae n. sp. is described from the lungs of the mussurana, Clelia clelia (Daudin, 1803), from vicinities of Lábrea, Amazonas State, Brazil. The species is characterized by the triangular oral opening, the presence of teeth (onchia) in the oesophastome, the excretory glands longer than the oesophagus and the tail abruptly narrowing in its anterior half and gradually tapering in posterior half. Among the Neotropical representatives of the genus, three species are known to possess the onchia in the oesophastome: S. atroxi, S. moi and S. viperidicus. Serpentirhabdias mussuranae n. sp. differs from S. atroxi and S. viperidicus by its triangular shape of the oral opening and the oesophastome in apical view, vs. round in the latter two congeners. Additionally, S. viperidicus has a larger oesophastome, 13–22 micrometers wide and 13–23 micrometers deep. The new species has relatively longer excretory glands than S. moi. The new species is morphologically and genetically close to S. atroxi, S. moi and S. viperidicus, all parasitic in Brazilian snakes, based on the presence of onchia and the comparison of nucleotide sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA and mitochondrial cox1 gene (differences varied between 3.8% and 7.1%). Data on the life cycle of S. mussuranae n. sp. is provided, and the life cycle is typical of the genus Serpentirhabdias, with the combination of direct development and heterogony. Free-living larval stages and the adults of amphimictic free-living generation are described. The results of molecular phylogenetic analysis based on nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) + partial 28S region and partial mitochondrial cox1 gene are provided.


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Author for correspondence: F.T.V Melo, E-mail:


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Description, molecular characterization and life cycle of Serpentirhabdias mussuranae n. sp. (Nematoda: Rhabdiasidae) from Clelia clelia (Reptilia: Colubroidea) in Brazil

  • Y. Kuzmin (a1), V.V. Tkach (a2) and F.T.V. Melo (a3)


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