Group behavior in insect parasitic nematode dispersal

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Embassy Ballroom Prefunction (Embassy Suites Greenville Golf & Conference Center)
David Shapiro-Ilan , USDA-ARS, SE Fruit and Tree Nut Research Unit, Byron, GA
Edwin Lewis , Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis, CA
Paul Schliekelman , Statistics, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Movement behavior is critical to determination of spatial ecology and success of foraging in predators and parasites. In this study movement behavior of entomopathogenic nematodes was explored. Movement patterns in sand were investigated when nematodes were applied to a specific locus or when the nematodes emerged naturally from infected insect host; six nematode species were tested (Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, H. indica, Steinernema carpocapsae, S. feltiae, S. glaseri, and S. riobrave). We discovered that nematode dispersal followed an aggregate pattern rather than a random or uniform distribution. These findings have implications for parasitic nematode spatial distribution and suggest that group behavior is involved in nematode foraging.
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