Estimating Sample Size and Persistence of Entomogenous Nematodes in Sandy Soils and Their Efficacy Against the Larvae of Diaprepes abbreviatus in Florida


  • L. W. Duncan
  • C. W. McCoy
  • A. C. Terranova


In two studies to estimate sampling requirements for entomogenous nematodes in the field, highest persistence of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora after application occurred beneath the canopies of mature citrus trees. Nematode persistence declined with distance from the center-line of the tree row toward the row-middles. Immediately after nematode application to soil, 32 samples (15 cm deep, 2.5-cm diameter) beneath a single tree were required to derive 95% confidence intervals that were within 40% of mean nematode population density. The estimated probability of measuring the mean density within 40%, using 32 samples, declined to 88% at 2 days post-application and to 76% at 7 days. The persistence in soil of Steinernema carpocapsae, S. riobravis, and two formulations containing H. bacteriophora and their efficacy against the larvae of Diaprepes abbreviatus were compared in a grove of 4-year-old citrus trees. Within 6 days, the recovered population densities of all nematodes declined to 5% of levels on day 0. The recovery of H. bacteriophora during the first 2 weeks was lower than that of the other two species. Steinemema riobravis and both formulations of H. bacteriophora reduced recovery of D. abbreviatus by more than 90% and 50%, respectively. Steinernema carpocapsae did not affect population levels of the insect. Key words: control, Diaprepes abbreviatus, efficacy, entomopathogenic nematode, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, sampling; Steinernema riobravis, survival.