Superfamily: Ancylostomatoidea

Revised 04/05/24




  • Recent Clessification

    Alternative Classification
    Relationships among species, genera, and even families, within the Nematoda are becoming clearer as morphological, morphometric, and life history features are considered along with molecular-based phylogenies. However, there remain differences of opinion among experts regarding classifications above the family level.  Such differences are apparent in the classification in the Order Strongylida or the consideration of suborders of the Strongylida as suborders of the Rhabditida.
    Rhabditida Strongylida
    Rhabditina Ancylostomatina
    Ancylostomatoidea Ancylostomatoidea
  •    Chromadorea
    Infraorder Rhabditomorpha
    Ancylostomatoidea (Looss, 1905) Chabaud, 1965


    Name derived from "ancylo" = hook and "stoma" = opening (as in mouth)

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    Morphology and Anatomy:

    Ref Lichtenfels, 1980




    Economic Importance:

    Hookworms are considered one of the most common groups of soil-transmitted nematode parasites of vertebrates. 
    They cause causing serious iron-deficiency anemia and protein malnutrition in humans and domestic and wild mammals.
    Two of the major genera,  
    Ancylostoma  and Necator, are responsible for considerable morbidity and socioeconomic burdens in humans.

    Of these two genera,
    Ancylostoma hookworms are considered to be of greater medical and veterinary importance because of distribution, prevalence, and the abundance of zoonotic species.

    The human-infecting ‘anthrophilic’ hookworm is represnted by  
    Ancylostoma duodenale (Dubini, 1843).

    Many other species are considered ‘anthropozoonotic’ forms, capable of infecting and circulating among free-ranging wild hosts, some domestic hosts and humans.  They include 
    Ancylostoma caninum (Ercolani, 1859), Ancylostoma braziliense Gomes de Faria, 1910 and Ancylostoma ceylanicum Looss, 1911.

    About 35 other species of Ancylostoma represent the considerable diversity of the genus and are considered to be primarily of veterinary importance. Many host species are carnivores (Xie et al., 2017).




    blood-sucking parasites of the small intestine of mammals.

    Life Cycle:







    Chabaud, A.G. 1965. Ordre des Strongylida. In: Grasse, P. P. Traite de Zoologie, Vol. 4, fasc. 3, pp. 869-933.

    Chabaud, A.G. 1974. Keys to subclasses, orders and superfamilies. In R. C. Anderson, A. G.Chabaud, and S. Willmott (eds.), CIH keys to the nematode parasites of vertebrates, No. 1, pp. 6-17. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, England.

    Chitwood, M.B. 1969. The systematica and biology of some parasitic nematodes. In  Florkin, M. and Scheer, B.T. (eds) Chemical Zoology III Echinodermata, Nematoda and Acanthocephala. Academic Press pp223-244

    Dougherty, E.C. 1951. Evolution of zooparasitic groups in the phylum Nematoda, with special reference to host distribution. J. Parasit. 37:353-378.

    Lichtenfels, J.R. 1979. A conventional approach to a new classification of the Strongyloidea, nematode parasites of mammala. Amer. Zool. (1979): 1185-1194

    Lichtenfels, J.R. 1980. CIH keys to the nematode parasites of vertebrates. No. 8. Keys to genera of the superfamilies Ancylostomatoides,and Diaphanocephaloidea. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, Farnham Royal, Bucks, England

    Schulz, R.S. 1952. Phytogeny of strongylates. In K. I. Skrjabin (ed.), Key to parasitic nematodes, Vol. 3, Strongylata, pp. 13-20. Akad. Nauk SSSR, Moscow. (English translation, 1961, N.T.I.S., U.S Dept. Com- merce, Springfield, Va., USA.)

    Xie, Y., Hoberg, E.P., Yang, Z., Urban Jr, J.F. and Yang, G. 2017. Ancylostoma ailuropodae n. sp. (Nematoda: Ancylostomatidae), a new hookworm parasite isolated from wild giant pandas in Southwest China. Parasites and Vectors 10:217.

    Yorke, W. and Maplestone, P.A. 1926. The Nematode Parasites of Vertebrates. Churchill, London


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