Stomatal Ultrastructure, Molecular Phylogeny, and Description of Parasitodiplogaster laevigata n. sp. (Nematoda: Diplogastridae), a Parasite of Fig Wasps


  • Robin M. Giblin-Davis
  • Weimin Ye
  • Natsumi Kanzaki
  • Donna Williams
  • Krystalynne Morris
  • W. Kelley Thomas


Agaonidae, buccal capsule, Ficus, fig wasp, Hymenoptera, LSU rRNA, molecular phylogeny, morphology, nematode, parasitism, Diplogastridae, Parasitodiplogaster laevigata n. sp., Pegoscapus sp., stoma, taxonomy.


Parasitodiplogaster comprises a potentially large radiation of nematode species that appear to be parasitically bound to their Agaonid fig wasp hosts, which are mutualistically associated in the syconia (figs) of the diverse plant genus Ficus. Parasitodiplogaster laevigata n. sp. is described and illustrated as an associate of the fig wasp, Pegoscapus sp. from Ficus laevigata from southern Florida. It is the first species of Parasitodiplogaster reported from North America and is closest to P. trigonema from F. trigonata from Panama. Parasitodiplogaster laevigata n. sp. can be differentiated from all described species of Parasitodiplogaster based on stomatal morphology (presence of a large dorsal and a right subventral tooth) in the adults of both sexes, molecular comparisons of two expansion segments (D2,D3) of the large subunit (LSU) rRNA gene, and fig-fig wasp host affinities. The ultrastructure of P. laevigata n. sp. was elucidated using TEM and SEM for comparisons with other species of Parasitodiplogaster. The stoma of P. laevigata n. sp. possesses a nonsegmented cheilostomal ring that connects to the longitudinal body musculature per- and interradially, a claw-like dorsal tooth, a right subventral tooth, and telostegostomatal apodemes arising from the dorsal side of each subventral sector. The unification of the pro-, meso-, and metastegostom with the gymnostom in P. laevigata n. sp. and further simplification in other described species may be due to derived adaptations associated with the internal parasitism of fig wasps.