The nematode family Criconematidae is composed of a number of genera and species which are rather photogenic. Criconemoides decipiens is depicted here. Criconematidae feed on the roots of higher plants, they cause crop loss but compared to other plant parasitic nematodes, damage is not heavy. The number of criconematids in a soil is often underestimated because with the traditional extraction methods, for which the nematodes have to move through a milk filter, only a low percentage is detected. Criconematids are strongly annulated and don’t move like a snake or eel, but more like a caterpillar. The picture shows the posterior part of a female body. On the second ring, from the left, the anal opening is visible (hardly with a light microscope) and on the fifth ring the vulva can be seen.
(Click on the pictures for an enlargement, © Wageningen University & Research, Laboratory of Nematology/Pictures: Hanny van Megen)