Effects of Birds Ingesting Heterodera rostochiensis Cysts on Viability of Eggs and Larvae


  • B. B. Brodie


Rate of passage through the digestive systems and effects of ingestion on viability of contents of cysts of Heterodera rostochiensis were determined in feeding trials with pigeons, thrushes, starlings, cowbirds, sparrows, and quails. Depending upon species of birds, 12-82% of the cysts ingested passed through the digestive system within 0.5 h. Pigeons required 6 h for complete evacuation. All other birds cmnpletely evacuated ingested cysts from their digestive systems within 3 h. Contents of cysts were nonviable if they were retained in the digestive system of starlings for more than 1.5 h, pigeons more than 1 h, or other birds more than 0.5 h. Cyst contents were nonviable if they remained in contact with excreta from cowbirds or quails for 4 h, thrushes for 96 h, or other species for 72 h after passage. Viability of contents of cysts was inversely related to exposure to excreta-filtrate concentration. Larvae failed to emerge from cysts that were exposed to a 25% concentration of excreta filtrate from starlings, 50% concentration from pigeons or thrushes, or 100% concentration of excreta filtrates from each of the other species. Cysts that were subjected to 44 C (avg. body temperature of cowbirds) for more than 3.5 h were nonviable. Cysts that passed through birds and collected with excrement on polyethylene or soil produced no infective larvae on potato. Key H:ords: Spread of nematodes, pigeons, thrushes, starlings, cowbirds, sparrows, quails.