Ficotylus laselvae n. Sp. (Tylenchomorpha: Anguinidae) associated with Ficus colubrinae in Costa Rica

Barbara J. Center, Thomas O. Powers, Robin M. Giblin-Davis, Yongsan Zeng, Alejandro Esquivel, Weimin Ye, Kerrie A. Davies, Natsumi Kanzaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Ficotylus laselvae n. Sp. was recovered from under the bracts of figs (syconia) of Ficus colubrinae from La Selva, Costa Rica, during a survey of nematode rainforest biodiversity and is described herein. This is only the second report of an association between the nematode suborder Tylenchina and the sycones of figs. Previous reports of most nematode associates of the sycones of figs have been from the lumen and involved transmission by female fig wasp pollinators (Agaonidae) during pollination/oviposition (e.g., Schistonchus and Parasitodiplogaster spp.). The association between F. laselvae n. Sp. and Ficus colubrinae may involve an invertebrate host, but none was recovered from dissections of the bracts during this study. It is also possible that this is a rainforest understory nematode that feeds ectoparasitically in protected areas on the aerial parts of F. colubrinae. Molecular analysis using nearfull-length sequences of the small subunit (SSU) rRNA and D2-D3 expansion segments of the large subunit (LSU) rRNA genes of Ficotylus laselvae n. Sp. suggests that it is a member of the suborder Tylenchina (infraorder: Tylenchomorpha; family: Anguinidae) and that the closest sequenced species is F. congestae from the lumen of sycones of Ficus congesta from Queensland, Australia. Although both nematode species are associated with figs, they are morphologically divergent, suggesting that the different micro-niches that they fill provide different selective pressures for evolution of differing morphological characters or they represent different life history morphotypes of a dicyclic genus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1139-1151
Number of pages13
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 19 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • fig tree
  • large subunit rRNA (LSU)
  • molecular
  • morphology
  • morphometrics
  • new species
  • phylogeny
  • small subunit rRNA (SSU)
  • taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Ficotylus laselvae n. Sp. (Tylenchomorpha: Anguinidae) associated with Ficus colubrinae in Costa Rica'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this