Tripylella muscusi




Rev: 11/19/2019

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

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Morphology and Anatomy:


Tripylella muscusi Female (E.H) E: Anterior end; F: Pharyngo-intestinal junction; G: Vulva region; H: Tail. 

Tripylella muscusi Female (A.D). A: Cephalic region, frontal view. B: Vulva and body pores, ventral view. C:
Annuli with anastomoses and body pores, lateral view. D: Vulva, somatic setae and body pores, latero-ventral view.

Drawings and SEM images from Cid del Prado et al., 2016


  • Body an open C shape after relaxation.
  • Cuticle 1 μm thick, with fine striations and sparse anastomoses along the body. Abundant pores and a few small setae present along and around the body.
  • Labial region rounded 14-15 μm wide; inner labial papillae conical; outer labial setae conical, 3 μm long;
    cephalic setae small, 1 μm long, and separated from outer labial setae by <1 μm so that there appears to be a single whorl of six longer and four shorter setae.
  • The single stomal chamber contains two subventral teeth 1-2 μm anterior to the small dorsal tooth, which is 10-17 μm from the head end.
  • Amphids caliciform, 8-15 μm from anterior end of the body.
  • Pharynx-vulva distance 212-292 μm.
  • Cardia very conspicuous, 16-29 μm long and 20-29 μm wide.
  • Excretory pore observed in six specimens at 21-110  μm from the anterior end.
  • Female gonads paired, short and reflexed, the anterior 61-118 μm long and the posterior 33-123 μm long.
  • Vulva with slightly protruding lips ornamented with longitudinal striations, and conspicuous pear-shaped cuticular structures surrounding the vagina; vulva to anus distance 274-379 μm.
  • Rrectum 20-25 μm long or 0.7-1.0 times anal body diameter.
  • Tail cylindroid, 122-160 μm long, narrowing abruptly at 39% of its length, ending in a small spinneret, 2-3 μm long.





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



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Type Locality and Habitat: Moss on trunk of oak tree, Quercus peduncularis Née, in a forested area of San Pablo Ixayo, Texcoco, Mexico State, Mexico, 2587 m above sea level.

Collector: I. Cid del Prado-Vera on October 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.