A moderately large and slender species, most of the specimens
measuring 500 u or more. Body usually slightly arcuate on
thermal death; tapering towards both the extremities, more abruptly posteriorly
to a blunt tail. Annulations fine throughout the body, becoming coarse
towards the tail. Lateral fields bearing four distinct incisures.
Head contour dome-shaped. Lip region high and distinctly set off,
bearing 3 annules. Sclerotisation of the labial framework is heavy,
outer margins of which extend posteriorly between first and second body
annules. Basal knobs of the spear broad and flattened. Hemizonid
prominent, covers 3 annules and situated just above the excretory pore.
In paratypes hemizonid covers even up to 5 annules. Excretory pore
at 85 u from the anterior end. Of the several specimens of
P. mulchandi examined, difference in oesophageal lobe shape has
been noted on several occasions. It was found to vary from broad
and massive to a much long and extensive lobe, sometimes twice body-width
long and at times more than thrice body-width.
Prodelphic outstretched ovary. Oocytes arranged in a single row throughout the entire length. In some specimens, however, a short zone of ovary near the proximal end was found to be double layered. Considerable variation was observed in the arrangement of oocytes. They may be arranged in single row throughout or in double rows, from the region slightly posterior to the cap cell. There was difference in area covered by the double row of oocytes; in general, the proximal end of the ovary had double row of oocytes, usually 1/5 of the gonad carried a double row. In some specimens, however, the double rows extended up to 1/3 of the gonad. Few forms were observed with reflexed ovary as well. Post-uterine sac distinct, 35 u long, more than 1 ½ body-widths at vulva. In paratypes 30-40 u long; some with rudiments of ovary. Vulva-anus distance 100 u. Tail obtuse and truncate in holotype. However, tail shape highly variable in paratypes, tapering to an obliquely conical, squared, narrowly or broadly rounded tip. Tail tip smooth and unstriated or with feeble, indistinct and irregular striae. Tail 30 u, nearly 2 ½ anal-body-diameter long comprising sixteen annules (up to 22 in paratypes).
Holotype: Female collected on September 30, 1965; slide no. NMB 1/P.L. 480 deposited with the Zoology Museum, University of Jodhpur, Jodhpur.
Paratypes: 54 females; slide nos. NMB 2-8/P.L. 480. Some paratypes deposited with USDA, Crops Research Division, Beltsville, Maryland.
Type host: Collected from the soil around the roots of pearl millet (Pennisetum typhoides Stapf and Hubbard) and great millet (Sorghum vulgare Pers.).
Type locality: Lamba, Merta city 60 miles north-west of Jodhpur (Rajasthan).
Discussion: Although Pratylenchus mulchandi n. sp. shares common characters with P. zeae Graham, 1951 and P. crenatus Loof, 1960 in the presence of 3 annules in the lip region and in the absence of males, it differs in the position of the vulva, by the presence of conspicuous and longer post-uterine sac as well as by the variation in the tail shape. The new species is closely akin to P. thornei Sher and Allen, 1953 and P. delattrei Luc, 1958 in the presence of 3 annules in the lip, in having strongly developed sclerotisation of labial framework and in general appearance of the body shape. In the absence of spermatheca and males, P. mulchandi comes still closer to P. delattrei. However, P. mulchandi can be identified from P. thornei by shorter body size, absence of spermatheca and males and also in the comparative length of the post-uterine sac, whereas bigger body size, conspicuous and more extensive post-uterine sac and variation in the tail shape readily distinguish the new species from P. delattrei.
The species is named after Dr. Mulchand Tikyani.