Family Merliniidae

                                    Rev 03/27/2020


         Merliniidae  Ryss, 1998

Two subfamilies:

Merliniinae and Pratylenchoidinae

Morphology and Anatomy:

As of 2016, all members of the Merliniinae are ectoparasites of plant roots while all members of Pratylenchoidinae are migratory endo parasites of plant roots.

Presence of deirids and  molecular phylogenetic studies support transfer of subfamily Merliniinae from Telotylenchidae and the genus Pratylenchoides from Pratylenchidae to the family Merliniidae, with Merliniinae and Pratylenchoidinae as subfamilies (Sturhan, 2012).

The genera of Merliniinae include GeocenamusMerliniusAmplimerlinius, Paramerlinius, Scutylenchus and Nagelus (Sturhan, 2012). The Pratylenchoidinae includes Pratylenchoides.

Although the taxonomic status of species designated in the genus Scutylenchus has been shifted or synonymized by different workers, and the diagnostic characteristics of Geocenamus, Merlinius and Scutylenchus have been re-defined several times, Xu et al (2012) suggest that the diagnostic characters of these genera are useful and reliable and that the genera are all valid.

Many diagnostic features for species separation are difficult to detect  by light microsopy (Powers et al., 1983)..


Azizi, K., Ali Eskandari, Akbar Karegar, Reza Ghaderi, Sven van den Elsen, Martijn Holterman and Johannes Helder. 2016.  Morphological and molecular data support the monophyletic nature of the genus Pratylenchoides Winslow, 1958 (Nematoda: Merliniidae) and reveal its intrageneric structuring. Nematology 18:1165-1183.

Ghaderi, R., Karegar, A., Niknam, N. Subbotin, S.A. 2014. Phylogenetic relationships of Telotylenchidae Siddiqi, 1960 and Merliniidae Siddiqi, 1971 (Nematoda: Tylenchida) from Iran, as inferred from the analysis of the D2D3 expansion fragments of 28S rRNA gene sequences. Nematology 16:863-877.

Powers, T.O., Baldwin, J.G., Bell, A.H. 1983. Taxonomic limits of the genus Nagelus (Thorne and Malek, 1968, Siddiqi, 1979 with a description of Nagelus borealis n.sp. from Alaska. J. Nematology 15:582-593.

Sturhan, D. 2012. Contribution to a revision of the family Merliniidae Ryss, 1998, with proposal of Pratylenchoidinae subfam. n., Paramerlinius gen. n., Macrotylenchus gen. n. and description of M. hylophilus sp. n. (Tylenchida).Journal of Nematode Morphology and Systematics 15:127-147


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