Equal-frequency Tolerance Ellipses for Population Studies of Belonolaimus longicaudatus


  • G. J. Rau
  • G. Fassuliotis


A biometrical method, using x-y plots of measurements of normaUy-distributed bivariate characters to construct a 95% equal-frequency ellipse representing 95% o f the specimens within its boundary, is presented. Comparisons of ellipses of four populations of Belonolaimus longicaudatus Rau show mean stylet lengths are relatively stable compared to mean tail lengths and there is greater styler length variability in short stylet forms. The extent of variability and regression between the populations can be seen by superimposing the bivariate means and orienting the longitudinal axes o f the ellipses. To compare ellipses the 95% binomial distribution is used to determine whether a sample population is significantly different from the model. The method is useful for graphic representation of morphological relationships within a nematode population, its relationship to other populations or species and to estimate environmental, ecological and genetic effects upon population morphology. Key Words: Sting Nematode, Population Comparisons, Biometrics, Relationships, Equal-frequency tolerance ellipses, Belonolamius longicaudatus.