Parasites of the lungs of amphibians and reptiles.
Family includes more than 90 nominal species belonging to 5–7 genera; most are assigned to the genus Rhabdias Stiles & Hassall, 1905.
A distinguishing features of rhabdiasids is the alternation of two generations in their life cycles: hermaphroditic generation with adults inhabiting the host, and gonochoristic generation in soil or feces.
For most rhabdiasid species, only the adult parasitic stage has been described. Thus the species diagnoses are mainly based on morphology of adult hermaphrodites.
Speies are morphologically very similar so differentiation of species and the taxonomy, systematics and phylogeny of the family are difficult
Recent studies iusing electron microscopy, molecular methods allowed description of new species based on the expanded differentiation.
Many species have been described from tropical regions of Central and South America, Africa and South–East Asia. On the other hand, a large part of rhabdiasid species is known from Palaearctic and Nearctic regions, apparently due to the better knowledge on helminths of amphibians and reptiles in Europe, North America and Japanese Islands (Kuzmin, 2013).
De Ley, P. and Blaxter. M. 2004. A new system for Nematoda: combining morphological characters with molecular trees, and translating clades into ranks and taxa. Nematology Monographs and Perspectives, 2004: 633-653.
Kuzmin, Y. 2013. Review of Rhabdiasidae (Nematoda) from the Holarctic. Zootaxa 3639:1-76.
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