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Abstract

A taxonomic revision of the lungworms (Nematoda: Metastrongyloidea) from Australian marsupials.

Abstract

The general characteristics and diagnostic features of the 3 genera of metastrongyloids of Australian marsupials are described and a key to the genera Filaroides, Filostrongylus and Marsupostrongylus is presented. A marsupial host-parasite list is also given. Filaroides (Filaroides) pilbarensis n.sp. is described from the bronchi, bronchioles, alveoli and lung parenchyma of Antechinus rosamondae in Western Australia. It is the only species of Filaroides occurring in a marsupial and is closest to F. hirthi from which it is distinguished by the absence of a terminal, laterally expanded lobe on the male tail, the anterior position of the vulva, the length of the oesophagus and a button-like tail tip in the 1st-stage larvae. F. pilbarensis is also morphologically similar to Oslerus osleri which occurs in dingoes and feral dogs. Apart from the host preference, F. pilbarensis can be distinguished by the shorter spicules, the smaller number and different arrangements of caudal papillae, the anterior position of the vulva, shorter oesophagus and button-like tail of the 1st-stage larvae. Marsupostrongylus is redefined and placed in the Angiostrongylidae and a key to the species of Marsupostrongylus occurring in Australian marsupials is given. M. bronchialis is given as a spelling correction for M. bronchialus and is redescribed. M. coulstoni n.sp. is described from the terminal bronchioles of the lungs of Vombatus ursinus in Victoria. It is distinguished from all other members of the genus by having robust, heavily sclerotized spicules and a complex gubernaculum consisting of a boat-shaped structure with ventrally accommodating spicules and a long, flexible, tongue-like structure dorsally situated which may extrude through the cloacal aperture. M. dorrigoensis n.sp. is described from the larger bronchioles of the lung of Thylogale thetis in New South Wales. It is distinguished from M. fragilis by having generally shorter spicules and the presence of sclerotization resembling that of a capitulum in the mid-region of the calomus, elongate ventral and lateral bursal rays and a more anterior vulva and anus. M. dorrigoensis is distinguished from M. longilarvatus by the distal extremity of the spicules being membranous, by sclerotization in the calomus, a narrower gubernaculum and much shorter 1st-stage larvae. Plectostrongylus is synonymized with Marsupostrongylus and M. fragilis n.comb. is redescribed from the bronchioles of the lungs of Antechinus stuartii. It is close to M. longilarvatus and M. dorrigoensis but its distinguishing features include a delicate gubernaculum, absence of unguiculate spicule tips, stubby ventral and lateral bursal rays, sclerotization in the mid-region of the calomus and a more posterior location of the vulva and anus in the female worms. Differences between this species and P. fragilis described by Mackerras and Sanders (1953) are discussed [See Helm.Abs.22 (5), 632c]. M. lanceolatus n.sp. is described from the terminal bronchioles, alveoli and lung parenchyma of Antechinus stuartii in Victoria. It is distinguished from all other Marsupostrongylus spp. by the presence of short, delicate spicules of dissimilar morphology with the right spicule terminating in a lance-like point. M. longilarvatus n.sp. is described from the terminal bronchioles of the lungs of Wallabia bicolor in New South Wales. M. longilarvatus can be distinguished from M. dorrigoensis and M. fragilis by several features including having less membranous distal extremities on the spicules, a broader gubernaculum when viewed laterally and longer 1st-stage larvae. M. minesi n.sp. is described from the terminal bronchioles of the lungs of Trichosurus (?) caninus in Queensland. It can be distinguished from all other Marsupostrongylus sp. by the presence of spicules exceeding 149 mu m in length and of oviparity. Filostrongylus peramelis is redescribed from the bronchioles of lung of Perameles nasuta and Isoodon macrourus and is distinguished from all other Australian marsupial metastrongyloids by the conspicuous presence of a deeply divided dorsal ray. Differences between this description and that of Mackerras (1955) are discussed [See Proc. R. Soc. Queensl. 66, 77-81].<new para>ADDITIONAL ABSTRACT:<new para>[See abstract above]