Taxonomy

Morphology

Manunema kithara is a very small nematode worm. 

It is long and thin, with a:

  • minute mouth and tubular buccal cavity
  • conical tail
  • conspicuous swelling in the body coinciding with the oesophageal bulb
  • coarsely striated cuticle

Diagnostic description

This species is distinguished from others in the same genus by the shape of its oesophageal bulb.

The bulb:

  • is double
  • is shaped like a guitar, with a wider rear than front part

The species was named after the Kithara, an ancient Greek musical instrument after which the modern guitar is also named.

Lookalikes

Manunema is the only known genus of the family Peresianidae (Vitiello & De Coninck, 1968) and is unlikely to be confused with other nematode genera. However, specimens must be examined under a high power microscope before they can be accurately identified.

Glossary

Oesophageal bulb
A muscular part of the oesophagus which pumps food into the gut.