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Facultative scavenging as a survival strategy of entomopathogenic nematodes

By E. San-Blas and S. R. Gowen

Abstract

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

Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2007.06.003
OAI identifier: oai:centaur.reading.ac.uk:9142
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