Rev 01/18/2023

Stem and bulb nematodes Classification Hosts
Morphology and Anatomy Life Cycle

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          Ditylenchus Filip'ev, 1936

          Anguillulina (Ditylenchus) (Filip'ev, 1936)
          Boleodoroides (Mathur, Khan and Prasad, 1966)
          Diptenchus (Khan, Chawla and Seshadri, 1969)
          Safianema (Siddiqi, 1980)
          Orrina (Brzeski, 1981)

Genus described in 1934, but includes one of oldest known plant parasites:  Ditylenchus dipsaci (described as Anguillula dipsaci by Kuhn, 1857).  

Ditylenchus spp. are related to the leaf and seed gall nematodes, Anguina spp. As of 2019, there are more than 60 described species.  Many are fungal feeders but some are important plant parasites.  The plant-parasitic species include D. africanus Wendt & Webster, 1995, D. angustus (Butler, 1913) Filipjev, 1936, D. arachis Zhang, Liu, Janssen, Zhang, Xiao, Li, Couvreur & Bert, 2014, D. destructor Thorne, 1945, D. dipsaci (K�hn, 1857) Filipjev, 1936 and D. gigas Vovlas, Troccoli, Palomares-Rius, De Luca, Li�banas, Landa, Subbotin & Castillo, 2011 (Skwiercz et al., 2017).. 

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Morphology and Anatomy:


Typical characters of Anguinidae.   

Short stylet.  Plant-feeding species generally have slightly longers stylet (10-14µm) than fungal-feeding species.

Median bulb with or without valve; isthmus not separated from glandular bulb by a constriction.

Postcorpus short; esophagus short and butting intestine esophagus, or long - when long, may overlap the intestine.  

Female:  Single ovary directed forward, short or long, sometimes reaching esophageal region and/or flexed; oocytes in one/two rows; columned uterus with four rows of four cells; post-uterine sac (PUS) present or absent.

Mature female may be slightly swollen. 

Female gonad with post-uterine sac.

Male: Testis usually without flexures.

Caudal alae present and leptoderan, short adanal or long, but never reaching tail end.

[Ref: Fortuner & Maggenti (1987).]

Body size range for the species of this genus in the database - Click:
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Economic Importance:


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Non-derived, migratory ectoparasites and endoparasites of stems, bulbs, and tubers.

Obligate parasite of higher and lower plants and/or fungi, found in soil or above ground.


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For an extensive host range list for this genus, click
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Life Cycle:

For Ecophysiological Parameters for this genus, click 
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Effect of clover race of Ditylenchus dipsaci on leaves of red clover, Trifolium pratense (healthy leaf on right).

Photograph by Chris Hogger (Switzerland).


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Fortuner & Maggenti, Rev. Nematol. 10:163-176 (1987).


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Copyright © 1999 by Howard Ferris.
Revised: January 18, 2023.