Susceptibility of the European Chafer (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) to Entomopathogenic Nematodes (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae, Heterorhabditidae)

Louis Simard


The European chafer Rhizotrogus majalis (Razoumowsky) feeds on turfgrass roots, causing major damage in the urban areas of northeastern North America. A laboratory study was conducted to determine the susceptibility of third-instar chafer larvae to four species of entomopathogenic nematodes (Steinernema glaseri, S. feltiae, S. carpocapsae, and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora). Only S. glaseri was virulent, and only at high numbers (LD[sub5][sub0] = 294 nematodes/larva). Prolonged contact with nematodes increased host mortality. Optimal conditions for S. glaseri with respect to soil type and soil moisture were determined. Maximum larval mortality was obtained with 7% moisture and a 50/50 mixture of chernozem and sand. These results suggest that these nematodes currently have little potential for the biological control of the European chafer in turfgrass.


biological control; entomopathogenic nematodes; european chafer; turfgrass pest

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