Family Belondiridae

Rev 02/14/2023


Belondiridae Thorne, 1939

Synonym: Opailaimidae Kirjanova, 1952

Species in this family differ from those in the Dorylaimellidae by lack of flanges on the odontophore, absence of glandular bodies in the lateral field and lack of sclerotized pieces around the oral aperture.  They differ from those in the Swangeriidae  by having a straight odontostyle and the short tail which is similar in both sexes.

The anterior part of the esophagus becomes more slender and less muscular where it passes through the nerve ring.  The region is described as isthmus like and gives the esophagus a 3-part appearance.  The length of the isthmus-like region varies among taxa.

In a study of the muscular sheath surrounding the enlarged basal portion of the esopahgus, Hechler (1969) emended the description of the superfamily Belondiroidea (Thorne, 1964) as follows: "Esophageal expansion surrounded by a sheath of muscle bands which may lie parallel to the esophagus, spiral completely around it in a dextral or sinistral direction, or spiral slightly without completely encircling the esophagus". 

Nematodes of the superfamily Belondiroidea have worldwide occurrence and are mostly found in undisturbed natural habitats rather than cultivated soils (Ferris and Ferris, 1971; Naz, 2009).

Nematodes of the family Belondiridae are classified as plant-feeders, especially Axonchium, Dorylaimellus and Oxydirus and as omnivores (Yeates et al., 1993).  However, these are nematodes with short stylets and relatively short odontophores; their status as plant-feeders requires further investigation. Also, they are not generally found in large numbers around cultivated plants and for this reason their feeding habits have not been definitively studied (Ferris and Ferris,  1971)..

The family Opailaimidae Kirjanova, 1952 was synonymized with Belondiridae by Andrassy, 1967.


Ferris, V.R. and Ferris, J.M.1971.  Distribution of Free-living Soil Nematodes of the Belondiroidea in Indiana and the United States. Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Sciences  81:365-369.

Hechler, H.C. 1969. Variability of the Basal Esophageal Sheath in Belondirid Nematodes. Journal of Nematology 1:160-165.

Thorne, G. 1939. A monograph of the nematodes of the superfamily Dorylaimoidea. Capita Zool. 8: 1-263.

Thorne, G. 1964. Nematodes of Puerto Rico: Belondiroidea new superfamily, Leptonchidae, Thorne, 1935, and Belonenchidae new family (Nemata, Adenophorea, Dorylaimida). University of Puerto Rico Ag. Expt. Sta. Tech. Paper 39, 1-51.

Yeates, G.W., T. Bongers, R. G. M. De Goede, D. W. Freckman, and S. S. Georgieva. 1993. Feeding habits in soil nematode families and genera—An outline for soil ecologists. Journal of Nematology 25:315-331


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