Submitted to: Biological Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 17, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Naturally occurring nematodes of mosquitoes are being studied by scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, Florida to evaluate and develop these parasites as biological control agents. Determination of the mosquito host range and safety of this parasite, Strelkovimermis spiculatus, for non-target aquatic organisms is required prior to field testing. In this report, nine species of mosquitoes and eight species of non-target aquatic organisms were tested. All species of mosquitoes exposed to S. spiculatus were susceptible, but the parasite did not infect or develop in any of the non-target hosts tested. These results verify that this parasite is specific for mosquitoes and poses little risk for non-target aquatic organisms.
Technical Abstract: The mosquito and non-target host range of the mermithid nematode, Strelkovimermis spiculatus was evaluated in the laboratory. Nine species of mosquitoes and eight species of non-target aquatic organisms were tested. All species of Anopheles, Aedes, Culex and Toxorhynchites exposed to S. spiculatus were susceptible. Of the nine mosquitoes tested, Cx. quinquefasciatus had the greatest tolerance to initial invasion and the highest percent infection of those that survived. High levels of infection were also achieved with Aedes taeniorhynchus and Ae. albopictus but these mosquitoes were significantly less tolerant to parasitism than Cx. quinquefasciatus. Strelkovimermis spiculatus did not infect or develop in any of the non-target hosts tested.