Scientific Name—Loa loa
Common Name—African Eye Worm


A closer look into the taxonomy of Loa loa

DomainEukarya: members of the domain Eukarya have membrane bound organelles in cells (Roberts and Janovy 2000).

KingdomAnimalia: members of the kingdom Animalia are multicellular and heterotrophic, and strive for nutrient acquisition via ingestion (Roberts and Janovy 2000).

PhylumNematoda: members of the phylum Nematoda are roundworms that do not have segmented bodies (Roberts and Janovy 2000).

Figure 1. Phylogenetic tree based upon the morphology, physiology, and DNA of organisms. Information modified from Cambell and Reece 2008.

ClassChromadorea: members of the class Chromadorea have bulblike esophagi with 3 to 5 esophageal glands (Roberts and Janovy 2000).

OrderSpirurida:  members of the order Spirurina are parasites that have thick shelled eggs which develop from first to third stage larva within an arthropod host and then live within the intestine and other tissues of members from the vertebrates (Roberts and Janovy 2000).

FamilyOnchocercidae:  members of the family Onchocercidae can be found living in the tissues of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals (Roberts and Janovy 2000).

Genus—Loa:  The word Loa derives from African dialect (Roberts and Janovy 2000).

Species Loa loa: The Species name Loa loa was givin to this organism because of its African descent.  Loa is a word that derived from African dialect (Roberts and Janovy 2000).

Figure 2.  Phylogenetic tree based upon the diversity of molecular data derived from the genomes of filarial nematodes, information modified from Desjardins et al. 2013.

Learn about the habitat of Loa loa on our HABITAT page!
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