Tripylella mexicana




Rev: 11/19/2019

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Tripylella mexicana Cid del Prado-Vera, Ferris, & Nadler, 2016

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Morphology and Anatomy:

Tripylella mexicana Female (A.D). A. Entire body; B: Anterior end; C: Pharyngo-intestinal junction; D: Tail.

from Cid del Prado et al., 2016


  • Body C-shaped upon relaxation and fixation.
  • Cuticle very thin, 1 μm, with fine striations and anastomoses. Small setae and pores present around and along the body.
  • Head region rounded, 13-15 μm wide.
  • Inner labial papillae conoid; outer labial setae conoid 2-3 μm long; cephalic setae small, 1 μm
    long, and separated from the outer labial setae by <1μm so that they appear as a single whorl of six longer and four shorter setae.
  • Dorsal tooth 13-18 μm from the anterior end of the body and 2-3 μm behind the small subventral teeth. The dorsal tooth and subventral teeth are in adjacent stomal chambers; the anterior chamber is very small and sometimes appears to be contiguous with the posterior chamber.
  • Amphids caliciform, 8-11 μm from anterior end of the body.
  • Distance from base of pharynx to vulva is 141-283 μm.
  • Cardia very conspicuous, 20-27 μm long and 20-26 μm wide, comprised of six cells.
  • Excretory pore observed in 10 of 14 specimens.
  • Female gonads paired, reflexed, the anterior 47-104 μm long.
  • Vulva without protruding lips but with small oval cuticular structures.
  • Rectum 18-25 μm long.
  • Tail cylindroid, wide anteriorly for 22-27 μm of its length and then narrowing abruptly, ending in a spinneret 2-4 ( μm long.
  • Two pairs of caudal setae present, one pair at seven annuli posterior to the anus, in a lateral position, and the second pair in a latero-dorsal position; also a single seta in a dorsal position, less than 20 μm from the point at which the tail becomes reduced in diameter.






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


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Type Locality and Habitat: Moss on the trunk of a pirul tree, Schinus molle L., in La Purificacion, Tepetitla, Texcoco, Mexico State, Mexico, 2421 m above sea level. Collector I. Cid del Prado-Vera on August 10, 2008.

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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).

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Biology and Ecology:

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Life Cycle:


Ecophysiological Parameters:

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

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Ecosystem Functions and Services:

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Brzeski, M.W. (1965): On the identity off Trischistoma Cobb and Tripylina Brzeski. Nematologica 11:449.

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.

 Cid del Prado Vera, I., Ferris, H., Nadler, S.A., Lamothe Argumedo, R. 2012.Four new species of Tripylina Brzeski, 1963 (Enoplida: Tripylidae) from México, with an emended diagnosis of the genus.  Journal of Nematode Morphology and Systematics 15: 71-86.

Cid del Prado-Vera, I., Ferris, H., Nadler, S.A. 2016. Five new species of the genus Tripylella (Nematoda: Enoplida: Tripylidae). Zootaxa 4109(2):198-217.

Small, R.W. 1987. A review of the prey of predatory soil nematodes. Pedobiologia, 30: 179-206.

Copyright © 1999 by Howard Ferris.
Revised: November 19, 2019.