Susceptibility of the Plum Curculio, Conotrachelus nenuphar, to Entomopathogenic Nematodes

David I. Shapiro-Ilan, Russell F. Mizell III, James F. Campbell


The plum curculio, Conotrachelus nenuphar, is a major pest of pome and stone fruit. Our objective was to determine virulence and reproductive potential of six commercially available nematode species in C. nenuphar larvae and adults. Nematodes tested were Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (Hb strain), H. marelatus (Point Reyes strains), H. megidis (UK211 strain), Steinernema riobrave (355 strain), S. carpocapsae (All strain), and S. feltiae (SN strain). Survival of C. nenuphar larvae treated with S. feltiae and S. riobrave, and survival of adults treated with S. carpocapsae and S. riobrave, was reduced relative to non-treated insects. Other nematode treatments were not different from the control. Conotrachelus nenuphar larvae were more susceptible to S. feltiae infection than were adults, but for other nematode species there was no significant insect-stage effect. Reproduction in C. nenuphar was greatest for H. marelatus, which produced approximately 10,000 nematodes in larvae and 5,500 in adults. Other nematodes produced approximately 1,000 to 3,700 infective juveniles per C. nenuphar with no significant differences among nematode species or insect stages. We conclude that S. carpocapsae or S. riobrave appears to have the most potential for controlling adults, whereas S. feltiae or S. riobrave appears to have the most potential for larval control.


biological control; conotrachelus nenuphar; entomopathogenic nematode; heterorhabditis; reproduction; steinernema; virulence

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