Drilomermis leioderma n. gen., n. sp. (Mermithidae:Nematoda) parasitizing Cybister fimbriolatus (Say) (Dystiscidae-Coleoptera)


  • George O. Poinar, Jr.
  • James J. Petersen


The nematode Drilomermis leioderma n. gen., n. sp. (Merrnithidae) is described from larvae of Cybister fimbriolatus (Say) (Dytiscidae: Coleoptera) in Louisiana. Diagnostic characters of the genus Drilomermis are: medium-sized nematodes with the cuticle appearing smooth (lacking cross fibers) under the light microscope, six cephalic papillae, without mouth papillae, six hypodermal cords at midbody, 2 extremely long spicules (longer than 10 times body width at anus) which are separate and parallel (not twisted), an S-shaped vagina, medium-sized amphids located near head papillae, and postparasitic juvenile with a tail appendage. D. leioderma possesses a ventrally displaced mouth, very long vagina, and male genital papillae arranged in 3 double rows in the vicinity of the cloacal opening. Even when containing multiple parasites, about 40% of the hosts sulwived emergence of the memithids and lived several more days. In nature, some of these hosts may be able to continue their development, which is unusual since most mermithid-parasitized hosts die soon after the nematode emerges. Key Word: taxonomy.