Phoresy of the entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis marelatus by a non-host organism, the isopod Porcellio scaber

Michael S Eng, Evan L Preisser, Donald R Strong
Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 2005, 88 (2): 173-6
Entomopathogenic nematodes are widespread in nature and commonly used in the biological control of insect pests. However, we understand little about how these organisms disperse. We show in a laboratory setting that the entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis marelatus is phoretically dispersed by a non-host organism, the isopod Porcellio scaber. These species both inhabit tunnels excavated in the roots and lower stems of bush lupine (Lupinus arboreus) by the nematodes' primary prey, larvae of the ghost moth Hepialus californicus. Phoretic dispersal via P. scaber may play a role in the metapopulation dynamics of this nematode.

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