Effect of Soil Texture on the Distribution and Infectivity of Neoaplectana carpocapsae (Nematoda: Steinernematidae)


  • Ramon Georgis
  • George O. Poinar, Jr.


The vertical migration of N. carpocapsae infective juveniles applied to the soil surface or introduced 14 cm below the soil surface was studied in four different soil types (pure silica sand, coarse sandy loam, silty clay loam, and clay). The percentage of juveniles able to migrate and infect wax moth pupae placed in the soil decreased as the percentage of clay and silt increased. Most nematodes placed on the soil surface remained within 2 cm of the surface, but some penetrated to a depth of 10 cm in pure silica sand and coarse sandy loam to infect pupae. Some pupae at the same depth were also infected with nematodes in silty clay loam soil. In pure silica sand and coarse sandy loam, nematodes introduced 14 cm below the soil surface were able to infect wax moth pupae located between 4 and 24 cm. Movement was least in clay soil and limited in silty clay loam. Nematodes showed a tendency to disperse upwards from the point of application. In all cases the number of migrating nematodes was greatest when wax moth pupae were present. Key words: Neoaplectana carpoeapsae, biological control, dispersal, attraction, nematode movement, entomogenous nematode.