Date of this Version
A relationship for Pseudostertagia bullosa within the trichostrongyloids has been enigmatic or unresolved. Studies of the synlophe in males and females of P. bullosa revealed a tapering system anterior to the deirids and a pattern of parallel ridges extending to near the caudal extremity in both lateral and median fields. Structurally, the synlophe differs considerably from that seen among the Cooperiinae and exhibits homoplasy with respect to ridge systems among some Ostertagiinae. Other structural characters due to symplesiomorphy, homoplasy or because they represent autapomorphies do not serve to reveal the putative relationships for P. bullosa with other trichostrongyloids. Although somewhat equivocal, the 2-2-1 pattern of the bursa and position of rays 2 and 3 suggest an association with the Cooperinae, as postulated by Durette-Desset and others. Pseudostertagia bullosa appears to be a species that has survived in the pronghorn, Antilocapra americana, a relictual pecoran artiodactyl that occurs in xeric regions of western North America; pronghorn are the sole remnant of the late Tertiary radiation for Antilocapridae across North America. Pseudostertagia bullosa may occur in mixed infections with a number or ostertagiines in the abomasa of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and domestic sheep (Ovis aries) in regions of sympatry for pronghorn and these artiodactyl hosts.