Teratorhabditis palmarum n. sp. (Nemata: Rhabditidae): An Associate of Rhynchophorus palmarum and R. cruentatus


  • Karin Gerber
  • Robin M. Giblin-Davis


Teratorhabditis palmarum n. sp., an associate of the palm weevils Rhynchophorus palmarum and R. cruentatus is described. Teratorhabditis palmarum was isolated from newly emerged adults and cocoons of R. palmarum from red-ring diseased coconut palms, Cocos nucifera, in Trinidad and Ecuador, and from red-ring diseased oil palms, Elaeis guineensis, in Colombia. Teratorhabditis palmarum was also associated internally with newly emerged adults of R. cruentatus from mature transplanted cabbage palmettos, Sabal palmetto, in Florida. Dauer juveniles of T. palmarum infested the genital capsule and body cavity of newly emerged adult female and male palm weevils. Adult nematodes isolated from cocoons and dauer juveniles from newly emerged palm weevils were cuhurable on bacterial lawns on several solid media. Females of T. palmarum have a single anteriorly directed ovary; vulva at 93-96% of the body length; short, hemispherical spicate tail; three or four teeth in the metastom; cuticle with distinct transverse punctations that change abruptly at the level of the procorpus to indentations of alternating size and arrangement; and eggs with cuticular sculpturing. Males have a crenate, peloderan bursa with a 2 + 5 + 3 pattern of bursal rays (7 extend to the margin of bursa); spicules linear, completely fused at the distal tip and dorsally for 50% of the total spicule length. Key words: coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, Colombia, Ecuador, Elaeis guineensis, entomophilic nematode, Florida, new species, oil palm, red ring disease, Rhadinaphelenchus cocophilus, Sabal palmetto, Teratorhabditis palmarum n. sp., Tobago, Trinidad.