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Facultative scavenging as a survival strategy of entomopathogenic nematodes

San-Blas, E. and Gowen, S. R. (2008) Facultative scavenging as a survival strategy of entomopathogenic nematodes. International Journal for Parasitology, 38 (1). pp. 85-91. ISSN 0020-7519

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2007.06.003


Entomopathogenic nematodes cannot be considered only as parasitic organisms. With dead Galleria mellonella larvae, we demonstrated that these nematodes use scavenging as an alternative survival strategy. We consider scavenging as the ability of entomopathogenic nematodes to penetrate, develop and produce offspring in insects which have been killed by causes other than the nematode-bacteria complex. Six Steinernema and two Heterorhabditis species scavenged but there were differences among them in terms of frequency of colonisation and in the time after death of G. mellonella larvae that cadavers were penetrated. The extremes of this behaviour were represented by Steinernema glaseri which was able to colonise cadavers which had been freeze-killed 240 h earlier and Heterorhabditis indica which only colonised cadavers which had been killed up to 72 h earlier. Also, using an olfactometer, we demonstrated that entomopathogenic nematodes were attracted to G. mellonella cadavers. (c) 2007 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
ID Code:9142
Uncontrolled Keywords:Steinernema, Heterorhabditis, cadaver, olfactometer, Galleria mellonella, NEOAPLECTANA-CARPOCAPSAE, FEEDING BIOLOGY, STEINERNEMATIDAE, HETERORHABDITIS, BEHAVIOR, LARVAE, SOIL

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