Heterorhabditid Behavior in the Presence of the Cabbage Maggot, Delia radicum, and its Host Plants


  • Z. Lei
  • T. A. Rutherford
  • J. M. Webster


The behavior of Heterorhabditis zealandica Poinar strain T327 was investigated in the presence of the cabbage maggot, Delia radicum L., and plants that are susceptible to D. radicum infestation. Newly formed puparia and freeze-killed third instar larvae were attractive to infective nematodes. Newly harvested infective nematodes did not respond to the puparia, whereas 1-month-old and 2-month-old nematodes reached the insect targets within 15 minutes. There were no significant differences in the ability of similar-sized, third instar larval D. radicum and Galleria mellonella L., the greater wax moth, to attract nematodes. There was a tendency for a greater number of insects to attract more nematodes. The roots of ball cabbage and radish were equally attractive to nematodes, but rutabaga roots neither attracted nor repelled the nematodes. Germinated seeds of radish attracted nematodes, and there was a tendency for more numerous germinated seeds to attract more nematodes. Key words: biological control, chemoattraction, Heterorhabditis zealandica, host-parasite interaction, nematode.