The pattern of longitudinal ridges (synlophe) on the external cuticular surface of trichostrongylid nematodes has been shown to be of value for distinguishing species and determining relationships among higher taxa. In the process of studying Mecistocirrus digitatus, the large stomach worm of bovids of Asia that has been imported and established in the Americas, we observed remarkably similar synlophe patterns to those described for 3 species of Haemonchus and to those we examined in a species of Ashworthius. In all 3 genera, the synlophe is absent from the posterior part of the body. Only in Haemonchus does the synlophe extend beyond midbody. In both M. digitatus and Ashworthius sidemi, the synlophe extends posteriorly only about ¼ of body length. In all 3 genera, the synlophe consists of about 30 ridges in the region of the esophagus with variation among species in specific areas, including additional pairs of subventral and subdorsal ridges and different lengths of sublateral ridges. This information is useful for identifying species and determining relationships among these large stomach worm parasites of cattle, sheep, goats, and farmed and wild cervids.
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