Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus, Vol 66, No 3 (2001)

Entomopathogenic Nematodes for the Biological Control of Pest Insects


Pages: 179-185


Entomopathogenic nematodes are part of 9 families, but only some species of these families: Heterorhabditidae, Mermithidae and Steinernematidae kill insects. Infective juveniles enter the insect – host through the cuticle, or through the mouth, anus, etc., to reach the haemocel. The infective juveniles also enter the insect by the foot. After that the nematodes leave the insect who usually dies. The infective juveniles are associated with symbiotic bacterium (Xenorhabdus, Photorhabdus) which helps nematodes in killing insects. For this reason entomopathogenic nematodes are a potential agent for biological control. Entomopathogenic nematodes have certain advantages over chemicals, they are nonpolluting, they can be massproduced in vivo or in vitro. A lot of companies in more then 40 countries produce and distribute entomopathogenic nematodes as nematoinsecticides for integrated pest management. Control of pest insects with entomopathogenic nematodes should be further investigated in Croatia.


biological control; entomopathogenic nematode; nematoinsecticid; symbiotic bacterium

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