Tripyla tropica




Rev 08/10/2023

  Classification Biology and Ecology
Morphology and Anatomy Life Cycle
Return to Tripyla Menu Ecosystem Functions and Services
Distribution Management
Return to Tripylidae Menu Feeding  References
Go to Nemaplex Main Menu       Go to Dictionary of Terminology









Tripyla tropica Cid del Prado, Ferris and Nadler, 2010

Note:  A recent classification removes the suborder Tripylina from the order Enoplida and places it, along with suborders Tobrilina and Diphtherophorina, in the order Triplonchida in subclass Dorylaimia. (De Ley et al., 2006; De Ley & Blaxter, 2004).  That move has not been generally adopted.

Back to Top

Morphology and Anatomy:





drawings and photomicrographs by Ignacio Cid Del Prado



  • Body J-shaped upon fixation.

  • Cuticle  with conspicuous transverse striations 1.0 �m wide.

  • No body pores but a few very small setae are distributed irregularly along the body.

  • Lip region symmetrical, lacking striations, flattened anteriorly, slightly constricted where cuticular striations begin.

  • Outer labial setae crescent-shaped and directed anteriorly, 4.0-6.0 µm (4.8±0.3) long or 20-23% (21.0�0.4) of lip region width.

  • Cephalic setae thinner 2.0-3.0 �m (2.2�0.2) long and 4.0-7.0 �m (5.8�0.4) posterior to outer labial circle.

  • Dorsal tooth wedge-shaped and hooked posteriorly at the tip, two small teeth 2.0-5.0 �m (4.5�0.6) posterior to the dorsal tooth, stomatal chamber 22.5 �m from anterior end.

  • Large cardia between pharynx and intestine.

  •  Vulva without sclerotised structures. Vagina 10-22 �m (13.8� 4.3) long, heavily muscular along its length; there are two glands containing granules that have fine ducts opening into the vagina close to the vulva.

  • Tail curved ventrally and narrowing evenly.

  • Spinneret conspicuous.


  • Body size similar to female.

  • Spicules curved; gubernaculum straight; surrounded by a muscular spicule pouch.

  • Genital system diorchic, with opposite, outstretched testes that open into a common vas deferens.

  • Tail tapering evenly, with  conspicuous, terminal spinneret.

Cid del Prado et al., 2010.

Reported median body size for this species (Length mm; width micrometers; weight micrograms) - Click:


Back to Top


 Type locality and habitat: Soil around roots of trees in tropical forest in San Fernando, Los Tuxtlas, Municipio de Soteapan, Veracruz, México (N18� 18.58’; W 94� 53.45’).

Paratypes collected in tropical forests at Lopez Mateos (N18� 19.11’; W 94� 52.89’) and Venustiano Carranza (N18� 20.21’; W 94� 46.27’), Los Tuxtlas, Municipio de Catamaco, Veracruz, México.


Back to Top


Nematodes of the family Tripylidae are generalist predators of small aquatic and soil organisms. Many authors have commented on the freshwater and
wet soil in which these nematodes are found, and on the nature of their prey based on observation of intestinal contents or from behavior. Among the recorded prey, as reviewed and collated by Small (1987), are nematodes, rotifers and protozoa (Cid del Prado et al., 2012).

Nematodes in the Tripylidae attach to soil particles or other substrate via adhesive material extruded from the caudal glands through the spinneret.  Thus anchored, the body moves quite reapidly in water films, sometimes thrashing vigorously.  This behavior has at least three possible purposes: 1. to make tactile contact with prey organisms, 2. to create currents that stir up the sediment and potential prey organisms settled therein, and 3. to anchor the nematode in currents of moving water.

Interestingly similar attachment and feeding behavior occurs in other nematode groups  that, based on most characters, appear to be only distantly related.  For example, the generalist predators of the Tripylidae are in the Class Enoplea, Subclass Enoplia, Order Enoplida, the specialist predators of other nematodes in the Mononchidae are in the Class Enoplea, Subclass Dorylaimia, Order Mononshida, while the bacterivorous Plectidae are in the Class Chromadorea, Subclass Chromadoria, Order Plectida, according to the phylogeny proposed by De Ley and Blaxter, (2002, 2004).

.Back to Top

Biology and Ecology:



Back to Top

Life Cycle:


Ecophysiological Parameters:

For Ecophysiological Parameters for this species, click If species level data are not available, click for genus level parameters

Back to Top

Ecosystem Functions and Services:

Back to Top


Back to Top


Cid del Prado, I., H. Ferris and S.A. Nadler. 2010. Soil inhabiting nematodes of the genera Trischistoma, Tripylina and Tripyla from México and the USA with descriptions of new species. Journal of Nematode Morphology and Systematics 13-28-49.

De Ley, P., Decraemer, W. & Eyualem-Abebe. (2006).  Introduction: summary of present knowledge and research addressing the ecology and taxonomy of freshwater nematodes. In Eyualem-Abebe, Andrassy, I. & Traunspurger, W. (Eds). Freshwater Nematodes: Ecology and Taxonomy. Wallingford, UK, CABI Publishing, pp. 3-30.

Zullini, A. (2006).  Order Triplonchida. In Eyualem-Abebe, Andrassy, I. & Traunspurger, W. (Eds). Freshwater Nematodes: Ecology and Taxonomy. Wallingford, UK, CABI Publishing, pp. 293-323



Back to Top

Copyright © 1999 by Howard Ferris.
Revised: August 10, 2023.