The nematode family Aphelenchoididae (Rhabditida: Tylenchomorpha) includes species with various feeding habitats. Bursaphelenchus, a member of the family, has for a long time been considered as a home for plant parasitic or mycophagous species (or both). However, recent intensive biological studies on the family revealed that the genus contains several insect parasitic species. Dauer juveniles of Bursaphelenchus doui were isolated from Acalolepta fraudatrix during a field study of longhorn beetle–Bursaphelenchus nematode associations. Two different insect-associated forms, an “entomoparasitic adult form” and a regular dauer juvenile, were isolated from a single individual beetle in a subsequent laboratory investigation of the B. doui–A. fraudatrix relationship. Thus these 2 distinct, insect-associated forms were confirmed to occur simultaneously. The entomoparasitic form is morphologically similar to that of Bursaphelenchus luxuriosae, with a dome-shaped head and vacuole-like spots assumed to be an internal structure of sensory organ, a stylet, a metacorpus (median bulb), and a moderately-developed and seemingly fully functional reproductive system. It is distinguishable from B. luxuriosae based on male spicule morphology and female tail morphology. A degenerate ingestive–digestive system distinguishes the entomoparasitic form from the propagative form and, unlike dauer juveniles, it has a moderately-developed reproductive system. The presence of this characteristic parasitic adult form is known only in these 2 Bursaphelenchus species. However, these 2 species did not form a clear monophyletic clade within the Bursaphelenchus xylophilus group and, thus, this characteristic parasitic form may occur independently in each species.
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