Beneficial nematodes

Combating of fall armyworms with beneficial Steinernema carpocapsae nematodes by Ganpati Jagdale

How Steinernema carpocapsae nematodes will kill the fall armyworms?

When Steinernema carpocapsae nematodes are applied to the pasture fields, they will actively search for all the soil-dwelling larval and pupal stages of fall armyworms. After locating larva or pupa, nematodes will enter into their body cavity through the natural openings like anus, mouth and spiracles. In the body cavity, nematodes will release symbiotic bacteria (Xenorhabdus nematophila) in the blood where bacteria will multiply quickly, cause septicemia and kill both larva and pupa within 48 hours of infection. Thus the killing of both larvae and pupae completely stops the emergence of next generation of adult fall armyworms.

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Kill fall armyworms now and stop their northward migration during spring by Ganpati Jagdale

The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda is one of the most economically important pests of different plant species including corn, sorghum, forage, and turf grasses.  Although fall armyworm larvae actively damage crops throughout the United States during growing season, they generally die when harsh winter begins in northern, central and eastern United States. Then question arises how they could re-infest fields and cause damage to the crops grown in these areas during spring and summer again.

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Four beneficial nematodes from Portugal by Ganpati Jagdale

Four beneficial nematodes including Heterorhabditis bacteriophoraSteinernema feltiaeSteinernema intermedium and Steinernema kraussei have been reported from Portugal. 

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A new beneficial nematode Steinernema sacchari from South Africa by Ganpati Jagdale

A new beneficial entomopathogenic nematode collected from a sugarcane field located in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa was named as Steinernema sacchari.  

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Beneficial Steinernema carpocapsae nematodes for sod webworm control by Ganpati Jagdale

Beneficial Steinernema carpocapsae nematodes have a potential to control tropical sod webworm, Herpetogramma phaeopteralis, one of the most damaging pests of turfgrass. Sod worms are lepidopterous insects that cause a serious damage to turfgrasses that are grown in the athletic fields, golf courses, home lawns and recreational parks. Adult moths do not cause any type of damage to turfgrass but their larval stages feed on turfgrass and reduce its aesthetic value.

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Two beneficial entomopathogenic nematodes for cucurbit fly control by Ganpati Jagdale

Two beneficial entomopathogenic nematodes including Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (Fig.1) and Steinernema carpocapsae (Fig. 2) have showed a potential to control cucurbit flies, Dacus ciliatus (Kamali et al., 2013). These nematodes are considered as beneficial nematodes because they have been used as biological control agents to control insects that are damaging to crops and harmful to animals

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Biological control of the peanut burrower bug, Pangaeus bilineatus by Ganpati Jagdale

The peanut burrower bugs are true bugs because they belong to an insect family Cydnidae in the order, Hemiptera. The peanut burrower bugs are scientifically known as Pangaeus bilineatus and considered as one of the major insects pests of peanuts in the peanut, Arachis hypogaea producing States in the U.S. (Lis et al. 2000) .

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Steinernema feltiae for Codling Moth Control in the October by Ganpati Jagdale

The codling moth, Cydia pomonella is one of the most damaging pets of apples, pears and walnuts. Adult moths are gray in color with dark brown band at the tip of wings.  Larvae are white in color with dark brown head.  Only larvae of codling moth cause damage to fruits and adults do not cause any damage to either apple or pear fruits or trees.

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Two biological agents for the control of strawberry root weevils by Ganpati Jagdale

Strawberry root weevils [Otiorhynchus ovatus] are one of the most important insect pests of strawberry crop.  Adults of strawberry root weevil feed on the edges of strawberry leaves [leaf notching] but this damage is not considered as economically important like the damage caused by their larval stages to strawberry roots [root pruning].

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Seven reasons to use beneficial nematodes as safer alternatives to pesticides by Ganpati Jagdale

Why beneficial nematodes are safer alternatives to pesticides- Nematodeinformation

To control insect pests in your organic garden, beneficial entomopathogenic nematodes are safer alternatives to chemical insecticides because.......

  1. Beneficial nematodes and their symbiotic bacterium have no detrimental effects on animals and plants.
  2. Both nematodes and their symbiotic bacteria do not cause any harm to the personnel involved in their production and application.
  3. Entomopathogenic nematode treated agriculture products are safe to handle and eat.
  4. Entomopathogenic nematodes and symbiotic bacteria do not have any pathogenic effects on humans or animals.
  5. When applied in the soil, entomopathogenic nematodes have also no negative effect on beneficial nematodes (bacteriovore, fungivore, omnivore and predatory) and other microbial communities.
  6. Entomopathogenic nematodes are also not harmful to the economically important beneficial insects such as honeybees.
  7. Finally, entomopathogenic nematodes are non-polluting and thus environmentally safe.

Storage temperature can influence beneficial nematode activity by Ganpati Jagdale

Several different species of white grubs including Anomala orientalis, Ataenius spretulus, Blitopertha orientalis, Cotinus nitida, Cyclocephala borealis, Cyclocephala pasadenae, Cyclocephala hirta, Exomala orientalis, Hoplia philanthus, Maladera castanea, Melolontha melolontha, Phyllophaga Spp. and Rhizotrogus majalis are major pests of turf grass.

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Three beneficial natural enemies for crane fly Tipula paludosa control by Ganpati Jagdale

Crane flies Tipula paludosa are one of important pests of turfgrass. Only larval stages (Fig. 1) of crane fly cause damage to turfgrass.  Crane fly adults are harmless to plants (Fig. 2). Crane fly larvae mainly feed on turfgrass roots and crowns but some time they can also feed on the turfgrass foliage.  The main symptom of crane fly damage that you will notice is the bare patches of dead turf in your lawn or golf courses.

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Biological control of Fuller rose beetle with beneficial nematodes by Ganpati Jagdale

Fuller rose beetle, Asynonychus godmani- Nematode Information

Fuller rose beetle, Asynonychus godmani is one of the most economically important pests of roses and citrus.  A laboratory study conducted by Morse and Lindegren (1996) showed that an entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema carpocapsae caused a maximum 67 and 83% mortality of three week old larvae and adults of the Fuller rose beetle, Asynonychus godmani with 500 and 150 nematode infective juveniles, respectively. Subsequent field study also showed that the application of nematodes significantly reduced the emergence of adult fuller rose beetles in the second year after nematode application. This suggests that the applied entomopathogenic nematodes were recycled and persisted in the field for two years.


Morse, J.G. and Lindegren, J.E. 1996. Suppression of fuller rose beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on citrus with Steinernema carpocapsae (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae).  Florida Entomologist 79: 373-384.

Research papers presented on entomopathogenic nematodes at 51st SON Annual Meeting by Ganpati Jagdale

Research papers on entomopathogenic nematodes and their symbiotic bacteria

Following 12 research papers on entomopathogenic nematodes and their symbiotic bacteria were presented at the Society of Nematologists 51st Annual meeting, which was held in Savannah, Georgia from August 12th -15th, 2012.

  1.  Ali, J.G., Alborn, H.T., Campos-Herrera, R., Kaplan, F.,Duncan, L.W., Rodriguez-Saona, C., Koppenhöfer, A.M. and L.L. Stelinski, L.L. 2012. Herbivore induced plants volatiles and entomopathogenic nematodes as agents of plant indirect defense.
  2. Bal, H.K.,Taylor, R.A.J. and Grewal, P.S.2012. Ambush foraging entomopathogenic nematodes employ ‘sprinting emigrants’ for long distance dispersal in the absence of hosts.
  3. Blackburn, D. andAdams, B.J.2012. Evolution of virulence in an entomopathogenic nematode symbiont.
  4. Campos-Herrera, R., ElBorai, F.E. andDuncan, L.W. 2012. Manipulating soil food webs in aFloridaorganic citrus orchard to enhance biocontrol by entomopathogenic nematodes.
  5. Dillman, A., Mortazavi, A., Hallem, E. and Paul W. Sternberg, P.W. 2012. Host-seeking, olfaction, foraging strategies, and the genomic architecture of parasitism among Steinernema nematodes.
  6. Griffin, C.T., Dillon, A.m.,Harvey, C.D. and C.D. Williams, C.D. 2012. Multitrophic interactions involving entomopathogenic nematodes applied against pine weevils in a forest ecosystem.
  7. Lancaster, J.D, Mohammad, B. and Abebe, E. 2012. Entomopathogenic symbiosis of Caenorhabditis briggsae KT0001 and Serratia sp. SCBI: Analysis of fitness.
  8. Noguez, J., Conner, E.S., Zhou, Y., Ciche, T.A., Ragains, J.R. and Butcher, R.A. 2012.  A novel ascaroside controls the parasitic life cycle of the entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora.
  9. Pathak, E., Campos-Herrera, R., ElBorai, F.E., Stuart,R.J., Graham, J.H. andDuncan, L.W. 2012. Environmental factors affecting community structure of nematophagus fungi and their prey inFloridacitrus groves.
  10. Shapiro-Ilan, D.I., Leskey, T.C., Wright, S.E., Brown,I.and Fall, L. 2012. Entomophathogenic nematodes: Effects of the soil agroecosystem on biological control potential.
  11. Somasekhar Nethi, S. Jagdale, G.B. and Grewal, P.S. 2012. Interactions among entomopathogenic nematodes and other nematode trophic groups and plants in agroecosystems.
  12. Zeng Qi Zhao, Z.Q., Davies, K.A., Brenton-Rule, E.C., Grangier, J., Gruber, M.A.M., Giblin-Davis, R.M. and Lester, P.J. 2012. New Diploscapter sp. (Rhabditida: Diploscapteridae) from the native ant, Prolasius advenus, inNew Zealand.

New slug-parasitic nematodes from South Africa by Ganpati Jagdale

Slug-parasitic nematodes

Recently, three new species of slug-parasitic nematodes namely Angiostoma sp., Phasmarhabditis sp. SA1 and Phasmarhabditis sp. SA2 have been reported from Western Cape Province of South Africa (Ross at al., 2012). These slug-parasitic nematodes were recovered during a survey and identified using both morphological and molecular techniques.


Ross, J.L., Ivanova, E.S., Sirgel, W.F., Malan, A.P. and Wilson, M.J. 2012. Diversity and distribution of nematodes associated with terrestrial slugs in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Journal of Helminthology 86: 215-221.

Temperature influences the virulence of beneficial nematodes against mustard beetles by Ganpati Jagdale

Interaction between entomopathogenic nematodes and mustard beetles- Nematodeinformation It has been demonstrated that the virulence of Heterorhabditis indica and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora against the pupae of mustard beetle, Phaedon cochleariae was high at 30oC but the virulence of Steinernema carpocapsae and Steinernema feltiae was high at 25oC (Mahar et al., 2012).


Mahar, A.N., Jan, N.D. and Mahar, A.Q. 2012.  Comparative effectiveness of entomopathogenic nematodes against the pupae of mustard beetle, Phaedon cochleariae F. (Chrysomelidae: Coleoptera). Pakistan Journal of Zoology 44: 517-523.

Control sugarcane billbug, Sphenophorus levis with beneficial nematodes by Ganpati Jagdale

Entomopathogenic nematodes and the sugarcane billbug, Sphenophorus levis- Nematode Information Sugarcane is grown as an important cash crop in many countries but insect pests like the sugarcane billbug, Sphenophorus levis can cause a tremendous yield loss to this crop. Entomopathogenic nematodes have a great potential to use as a biological control agent against the sugarcane bill bugs. Recently, Giometti et al. (2011) reported that entomopathogenic nematodes including Steinernema brazilense strain IBCB n6 and three strains of Heterorhabditis sp. (IBCB n10, IBCB n24 and IBCB n44) were highly virulent causing over 60% mortality of adults of the sugarcane billbug. Sphenophorus levis.  


Giometti, FHC, Leite, LG., Tavares, FM., Schmit, F.S., Batista, A. and Dell'Acqua, R. 2011.  Virulence of entomopathogenic nematodes (Nematoda: Rhabditida) against Sphenophorus levis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae).   Bragantia 70: 81-86.

Why some insect-parasitic nematodes are called entomopathogenic nematodes? by Ganpati Jagdale

Entomopathogenic Nematodes- Nematode Information Insect-parasitic nematodes that belong to both Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae families are also called as entomopathogenic nematodes because they cause disease to their insect hosts with the help of mutualistically associated symbiotic bacterial pathogens.

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