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Effect of Entomopathogenic Nematodes (Nematoda: Rhabitida) on Earthworms, Spiders and Ants

Author Affiliations

  • 1Division of Nematology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi -110012, INDIA

Res. J. Agriculture & Forestry Sci., Volume 3, Issue (1), Pages 19-22, January,8 (2015)


Steinernematids and Heterorhabditids are lethal insect pathogens with bio control potential for managing insect pests of agricultural importance. The non-target effects of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) Steinernema thermophilum, S. glaseri and H. indica were evaluated on beneficial organisms like earthworm (Eiseinea foetida), Spider (Neoscona theisi) and ant (Messor himalayanus). These nematodes were found to be safe towards the earthworm species E. foetida as it did not cause any earthworm mortality up to 3 weeks of treatment when applied @ 500 Infective Juveniles (IJ)/gram compost. However, S. thermophilum, S. glaseri and H. indica induced mortality of 20, 10 and 30 %, respectively on Spider species Neoscona theisi when applied @ 500 IJs/spider, but no mortality was recorded @ 100 IJs/spider. The S. thermophilum and H. indica when applied on ant species M. himalayanus @ 100 IJs/ant could induce 100 % mortality, whereas S. glaseri caused 72 % ant mortality after 5 days. Our study revealed the safety of EPNs towards earthworms but possible adverse effects on spiders and ants.


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