Gracilacus aculenta
Brown, 1959
Paratylenchus aculentus
Photo Gallery- Konza Prairie

Dimensions: 10 females; L = .275 mm; a = 20.9; b = 2.6; c = 11.3; V = 71.6
                      1 male; L = .308 mm; a = 23.6; c = 11.8; spicule = 15u

Female:  Very small, slender.  Anteriorly the body tapering a little to a rounded lip region.  Posteriorly the body tapering gradually from above vulva to a rounded tail.  Cuticle marked by distinct transverse striae.  In lateral field 3 incisures appearing as 2 bright lines with a fainter line between.  When head observed from a face view obscure lobes visible.
Spear very long and fine, with small, rounded basal knobs.  Orifice of dorsal esophageal gland about 7u behind spear knobs.  Precorpus of esophagus narrow, gradually broadening into the median bulb, which has a strong valvular apparatus.  Isthmus of esophagus narrow, surrounded by  nerve ring.  The posterior esophageal bulb varying somewhat in shape with the expulsion of the spear.  Conspicuous excretory pore on ventral side in region of median esophageal bulb.  Deirids observed in live specimens, lateral to median bulb.  Intestine vacuolate in appearance, with transverse bands of fat globules.
Vulva inconspicuous, without lateral membrane.  Vagina extending directly inward about half the diameter of the body.  No postuterine sac.  Numerous small sperm in broad uterus.  The single, outstretched ovary comparatively short.  Anus obscure.

Male: Males are rare.  Body uniformly cylindrical, tapering to a rounded tail tip similar to that of female.  Lateral field marked by 3 incisures.  Stylet and esophagus lacking.  Intestine vacuolate in appearance.  Spicule sharply pointed.  Gubernaculum simple.  No anal sheath visible on single male collected.

Type Habitat:  Soil about roots of grass sod.
Type Locality:  Lake Lenore, Saskatchewan.

Diagnosis:  P. aculentis is most closely related to P. aciculus, from which it differs in the shorter spear of the female, in the lack of conspicuous lips, and in having a broader tail in both male and female.  P. aculentus differs from P. goodeyi in the more anterior position of the vulva, in having three lateral lines, and in lacking a spear in the male.