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 variable size, less than 1 mm to more than 5 mm long.
Lip region narrow, usually scarcely differentiated.
Odontostyle relatively short.
Odontophore rod-like, flanged at its posterior portion in one subfamily and genus.
Anterior slender portion of esophagus usually weakly muscular.
Basal portion of esophagus of variable length and surrounded by a distinct muscular sheath.
Female genital system didelphic or monodelphic.
Male with spicules very variable in size and shape, and few to numerous ventromedian supplements.
Tail similar or dissimilar in sexes: long and filiform to short and rounded.
Ref: Pena-Santiago, 2006.
Dorylaimid esophagi: some general chracteristics
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.
Pena-Santiago, R. 2006. Dorylaimida Part 1. Superfamilies Belondiroidea, Nygolaimoidea and Tylencholaimoidea. Pp 326-391 in E. Abebe, István Andrássy, W. Traunspurger (eds) Freshwater Nematodes: Ecology and Taxonomy. CABI Publishing.
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.
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