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A NEW SPECIES OF FALCAUSTRA (NEMATODA: KATHLANIIDAE) IN NACTUS PELAGICUS (SQUAMATA: GEKKONIDAE) FROM TANNA ISLAND, VANUATU
 

Summary: A NEW SPECIES OF FALCAUSTRA (NEMATODA: KATHLANIIDAE) IN NACTUS PELAGICUS
(SQUAMATA: GEKKONIDAE) FROM TANNA ISLAND, VANUATU
Charles R. Bursey, Stephen R. Goldberg*, Alison M. HamiltonĄ, and Christopher C. Austin`
Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, Shenango Campus, Sharon, Pennsylvania 16146. e-mail: cxb13@psu.edu
ABSTRACT: Falcaustra tannaensis n. sp. (Ascaridida: Kathlaniidae) from the large intestine of Nactus pelagicus (Squamata:
Gekkonidae) is described and illustrated. Falcaustra tannaensis represents the first species from Oceanica to be assigned to the genus
and is distinguished from other species of Falcaustra by the distribution pattern of caudal papillae (8 precloacal, 2 adcloacal, 10
postcloacal, and 1 median), length of spicules (2.43­2.68 mm), and presence of a pseudosucker.
During the necropsy of geckos collected 8­22 September 2005 on
Tanna Island, Vanuatu, 6 specimens of the pelagic gecko, Nactus
pelagicus Dume“ril, 1858, were found to harbor a total of 19 (8 males,
11 females) nematodes of an undescribed species of Falcaustra
Lane, 1915. Nactus pelagicus is a medium-sized, forest floor gecko,
actually, a complex of unisexual and bisexual populations, widely
distributed on the islands of Oceania and the southwest Pacific (Zug
and Moon, 1995). There are, to our knowledge, no previous reports
of helminths from this lizard. Species of Falcaustra Lane, 1915 occur
in the digestive tracts of fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Of the 86
nominal species (Bursey, Goldberg, and Bauer, 2009; Bursey and
Rivera, 2009; Hasegawa and Nishikawa, 2009), none has been

  

Source: Austin, Christopher C. - Museum of Natural Science, Louisiana State University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology