All stages vermiform: Small to large animals (up to 1.9
Female: Body sausage-shaped to cylindrical. Cuticle
thick, lacking a typical lateral field (sometimes marked by irregularities
in body annuli and/or superficial longitudinal lines very variable within
the same species). Body annuli either retrorse, provided or not with
lobation, crenation, scales or spines or rounded and covered or not with
an extra cuticular layer. Labial area variously shaped; submedian
lobes absent or variously developed. Labial sclerotization strong.
Stylet massive; cone much longer than base plus knobs; stylet knobs anchor-shaped
or sloping backwards. Isthmus very short; oesophageal glandular bulb
Male: No stylet. Spicules variously shaped.
Caudal alae absent to well-developed.
Juveniles: Cuticle showing same range of variations as
in female, but in some groups juvenile and female may have different ornamentation;
cuticular spines or scales, if present, arranged in longitudinal rows,
stylet nonreduced, functional (lacking in some male J4 of Hemicycliophora
Female and juveniles always ectoparasitic on plant roots.
Criconematinae Taylor, 1936.
Hemicycliophorinae Skarbilovich, 1959.
Criconematidae is most closely related to the Tylenchulidae by the
oesophagus with well-developed median bulbar area with massive valvular
apparatus, short isthmus and small posterior glandular region symmetrically
arranged, not overlapping intestine. Strong sexual dimorphism, males
degenerate mostly without stylet. The families are distinguished
by strong annulation and thick cuticle Criconematidae (fine annulations,
mostly thin cuticle in Tylenchulidae); swollen females in many Tylenchulidae
not found in Criconematidae.
(Description- Raski & Luc, 1987)