Family Panagrolaimidae

                                 Rev 01/12/2024



          Panagrolaimidae Thorne, 1937

Morphology and Anatomy:

Short cylindrical stoma with short stegostom (pharyngeal collar).  Long tapering corpus with no offset metacorpus.  Valve in postcorpus.  Female monovarial, prodelphic, ovary reflexed, offset spermatheca.  Rapidly moving, very active nematodes. Bacteria-feeding nematodes usually found in decaying organic matter.

Per the emended diagnosis of the family provided by Bert et al. (2003):

  • Lip region without probolae or fimbriate processes.
  • Labial sensilla papilliform, cephalic sensilla papilliform or rarely setiform.
  • Cuticul finely striated.
  • Stoma fairly wide anteriorly, stegostom usually tapering, comprising between 50 and 66% of stoma length, without subdivisions of its lining.
  • Pharynx with cylindrical procorpus, metacorpus cylindrical or with valveless median bulb, terminal bulb valvate.
  • Female reproductive system monodelphic, prodelphic.
  • Spermatheca usually absent or axial, rarely offset as in Cephalobidae. Uterus-oviduct junction sometimes with two offset spermatheca-like pouches.
  • Postvulval sac present or absent.
  • Female tail conical with pointed tip.
  • Males without bursa, with one unpaired papilla and five to seven pairs of genital papillae, arrangement variable.
  • Spicules  often with wide velum,
  • Gubernaculum often with posterior expansion

As of 2023, the family is reported to have 14 genera (Yadav et al., 2023)

In general, the Panagrolaimidae differ from the Cephalobidae in that :

  • the anterior sections of the stoma is more spacious with the cheilostom and gymnostom wider than the stegostom
  • the postvulval section of the reflexed ovary is either straight of has a single flexure.
  • spermatheca absent or usually not offset.
Tail conical but asymmetrical, shorter on ventral side.  
Male spicules with short terminal bifurcation.  
No caudal alae.
Spicules and gubernaculum


Bert, W., Tandingan De Ley, I., Van Driessche, R., Segers, H., and De Ley, P. 2003. Baujardia mirabilis gen. n., sp. n. from pitcher plants and its phylogenetic position within Panagrolaimidae (Nematoda: Rhabditida). Nematology 5:405-420.

Thorne, G. 1937. A revision of the nematode family Cephalobidae Chitwood and Chitwood, 1934. Proc. Helminth. Soc. Wash. 4:1-16.

Yadav, K., Bhat, A.H., Abolafia, J., Machado, R.A.R., Wani, S.M., Chaubey, A.K. 2023. Redescription and molecular characterisation of Panagrolaimus labiatus (Kreis, 1929) Andrássy, 1960 (Rhabditida, Panagrolaimidae) from India and proposal of P. burdwanensis Chaturvedi & Khera, 1979 as a junior synonym of P. labiatus. Nematology 25:151-168.

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