Copyright American Society of Parasitologists 2012

Published in Journal of Parasitology, Vol. 98 No. 6 () at DOI: 10.1645/GE-3059.1


We report the distribution of 2 species of filarioid nematodes occurring in different hosts in the central region of South America. Molinema boliviensis n. sp. was recorded as a parasite of sigmodontine and echymyid rodents in Bolivia, and Litomosoides esslingeri was recorded in sigmodontine and ctenomyid rodents from Bolivia and Argentina. Molinema boliviensis n. sp. shares several similarities with other species reported in spiny rats; however, it can be easily differentiated by the presence of a flat anterior end, gradually tapering lappets and a tubercle present in posterior end, a short, uniform buccal capsule, an oval-shaped vagina vera, and a ratio of spicules of 1:1.44. An account for the morphological variability of L. esslingeri is presented that allows the identification of the buccal capsule, the tail tip in females, and the shape of spicules as reliable diagnostic traits. A complete set of head papillae is also described. The finding of these parasites in phylogenetically unrelated hosts suggests that host capture may be a frequent phenomenon in these filarioids. Researchers should focus efforts in surveying mammals within the same ecological guild to understand the distribution and host specificity of these nematodes.