Chromonema heliothidis n. gen., n. sp. (Steinernematidae, Nematoda), a Parasite of Heliothis zea (Noctuidae, Lepidoptera), and Other Insects

A. Khan, W. M. Brooks, Hedwig Hirschmann

Abstract


Chromonema heliothidis n. gen., n. sp. is described as an entomophilic nematode of Heliothis zea and other lepidopterous larvae; the diagnosis of the family Steinernermatidae is emended. In most morphological and host-parasite features, this nematode is similar to neoaplectanid nematodes; however, males are different in having a peloderan bursa and straight to slightly curved spicules. Although the infective-stage juveniles only give rise to hermaphrodites, the nematode is heterogonic, with both males and females being produced in the second generation. Parasitized hosts are brick-red in color and luminescent in the dark because of the association of a chromogenic, bioluminescent bacterium with the nematode. The nematode is capable of Parasitizing a wide range of insects with lepidopterous larvae being most susceptible. Key Words: entomophilic nematode, morphology, taxonomy.

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