Wilsonema Cobb, 1913

A handful of soil usually contains more than thousand nematodes including plant parasites, fungal feeders, predators and bacteria feeders. One of the most remarkable taxa, feeding on bacteria, is Wilsonema sp., small nematodes, shorter than half a millimeter. This are known to be terricolous and cosmopolite. Wilsonema, just as most of the other nematode species, has six lips. The dorsal and ventral lips are grown out to two feather-like structures which probably play a role in gathering food. Because of these remarkable lips, Wilsonema is easily recognized. It is a common genus in sandy soils, even in the most acid sandy soils, and easily withstands dehydration.  Two species, Wilsonema otophorum (de Man, 1880) Cobb, 1913 and Wilsonema schuurmansstekhoveni (De Coninck, 1931) Zell, 1985 can be found in Europe.

 

More pictures of Wilsonema otophorum:

Wilsonema otophorum: male body
Wilsonema otophorum: male body

Wilsonema otophorum: male and female body
Wilsonema otophorum: male and female body

Wilsonema otophorum: head region with body annulations, small spiroid amphid and two small setae
Wilsonema otophorum: head region with body annulations, small spiroid amphid and two small setae

Wilsonema otophorum: anterior body with smooth cervical expensions, pharynx with oval bulb
Wilsonema otophorum: anterior body with smooth cervical expensions, pharynx with oval bulb

Wilsonema otophorum: anterior body with cervical expensions, labial probolae and  cylindrical stoma
Wilsonema otophorum: anterior body with cervical expensions, labial probolae and cylindrical stoma

Wilsonema otophorum: vulva region
Wilsonema otophorum: vulva region
Wilsonema otophorum: female tail with anal opening
Wilsonema otophorum: female tail with anal opening
Wilsonema otophorum: male tail with simple spicula
Wilsonema otophorum: male tail with simple spicula
Wilsonema otophorum: female tail with lateral lines
Wilsonema otophorum: female tail with lateral lines

More pictures of Wilsonema schuurmansstekhoveni:

Wilsonema schuurmansstekhoveni: female body
Wilsonema schuurmansstekhoveni: female body
Wilsonema schuurmansstekhoveni: anterior body with  body annulations and small spiroid amphid
Wilsonema schuurmansstekhoveni: anterior body with body annulations and small spiroid amphid
Wilsonema schuurmansstekhoveni:  anterior body with cervical expensions, labial probolae and  cylindrical stoma
Wilsonema schuurmansstekhoveni: anterior body with cervical expensions, labial probolae and cylindrical stoma

Wilsonema schuurmansstekhoveni: vulva region
Wilsonema schuurmansstekhoveni: vulva region
Wilsonema schuurmansstekhoveni: female at mid body with lateral lines
Wilsonema schuurmansstekhoveni: female at mid body with lateral lines
Wilsonema schuurmansstekhoveni: female tail with anal opening and spinneret
Wilsonema schuurmansstekhoveni: female tail with anal opening and spinneret

(Click on the pictures for an enlargement, © Laboratory of Nematology/Pictures: Hanny van Megen)