Rev: 11/17/2022

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Morphology and Anatomy Life Cycle
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        Rhabditis Dujardin, 1845

 The following are descrined as either separate genera or as subgenera of Rhabditis (Sudhaus aned Fitch (2001):

 Genus Rhabditis Dujardin, 1845

  • Subgenus Mesorhabditis Osche, 1952
  • Subgenus Crustorhabditis Sudhaus, 1974
  • Subgenus Operculorhabditis Khera, 1969
  • Subgenus Cruznema Artigas, 1927
  • Subgenus Rhabpanus Massey, 1971
  • Subgenus Xylorhabditis Sudhaus, 1976
  • Subgenus Pelodera A. Schneider, 1866
  • Subgenus Teratorhabditis Osche, 1952
  • Subgenus Caenorhabditis Osche, 1952
  • Subgenus Rhabditoides T. Goodey, 1929
  • Subgroup �Eurhabditis�
  • Subgenus Rhabditella Cobb, 1929
  • Subgenus Diploscapteroides Rahm, 1928
  • Subgenus Cephaloboides Rahm, 1928
  • Subgenus Rhabditis Dujardin, 1845
  • Subgenus Pellioditis Dougherty, 1953


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Morphology and Anatomy:



    Photograph: Jon Eisenback, NemaPix


Body size range for the species of this genus in the database - Click:
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Bacteria.  Rhabditis sp. observed to establish colonies on a wide range of bacteria species (Wood, 1973).

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Biology and Ecology:

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Life Cycle:

For Ecophysiological Parameters for this genus, click 
Eggs may hatch within the bodies of older females.  The females then die and the juveniles consume bacteria decomposing the female body.  This has been thought to occur when the vaginal muscles are no longer strong enough to eject the eggs and is termed endotokia matricida due to the resultant death of the female (Seurat, 1914).  In the Caenorhabditis elegans literature, the phenomenon has been termed "bagging" .  The hypothesis has been advanced  that intra-uterine hatch is a part of the C. elegans life cycle, and complements androdioecy ( the existence of a hermaphrodite population and a male population) and the dauer  (a resistant or enduring stage) stage to enhance progeny survival and dispersal under stress. Consequently, per the hypothesis,  matricidal hatching, has been perpetuated in C. elegans through evolutionary time as it confers a survival advantage when resources are scarce or conditions unfavorable (Chen & Caswell-Chen, 2003).


Endotokia Matricida, "Bagging", in a rhabditid nematode.  Juveniles consume the bacteria that are decomposing the adult body.
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Ecosystem Functions and Services:

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Chen J.; Caswell-Chen E.P. 2003. Why Caenorhabditis elegans adults sacrifice their bodies to progeny. Nematology 5:641-645.

Seurat, L.G. 1914. Sur un cas d�endotokie matricide chez un oxyure. Comptes-Rendues de la Soci�t� de Biologie 76:850-853.

Wood, F.H. 1973. Nematode feeding relationships: Feeding relationships of soil-dwelling nematodes. Soil Riol. Biochem. 5: 593-601.

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Copyright © 1999 by Howard Ferris.
Revised: November 17, 2022.

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