Host Range and Effects

The parasitic behaviour of Pp. hermaphrodita against different slug species have been studied by several workers (Wilson et al. 2000; Grewal et al. 2003). A single high dose of nematode, applied to slugs under soil condition caused significant mortality to three different pest families of slugs, i.e. D. reticulatum, D. panor-mitanum, A. silvaticus, A. distinctus, A. intermedius, A. ater, Tandonia buda-pestensis and T. sowerbyi (Wilson et al. 1993a). Coupland (1995) reported rapid killing of snails belonging to four species (Theba pisana, Cernuella virgata, Cochlicella acuta and C. barbara), when exposed to 300 infective juveniles per snail. Wilson et al. (2004) prepared a model to optimize biological control of slug D. reticulatum by using the nematode Pp. hermaphrodita. In this method the application rate of Pp. hermaphrodita was based on slug number per unit area. The accurate estimate of slug population density together with predictive modelling of slug population dynamics exploit the full potential of the model for optimizing the use of Pp. hermaphrodita for slug control. Hapca et al. (2007) investigated the response of Pp. hermaphrodita to the presence of slug mucus and finally concluded that nematodes exhibit both chemotactic and chemokinetic responses to a signal emanating from slug mucus.

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