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Title: Chroniodiplogaster formosiana sp. n. (Rhabditida: Diplogasteridae) from Chinese populations of Odontotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera:Termitidae)

item Meikle, William

Submitted to: Journal of Nematology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2006
Publication Date: 10/1/2006
Citation: Poinar, G.O., Meikle, W.G., Mercadier, G. 2006. Chroniodiplogaster formosiana sp. n. (Rhabditida: Diplogasteridae) from Chinese populations of Odontotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera:Termitidae). Journal of Parasitology. Journal of Nematology 38(2): 181-186

Interpretive Summary: The Formosan subterranean termite is a destructive pest wherever it occurs in the United States, with costs of control and damage repair estimated at $1 billion. As part of a project to find natural enemies against the termite, termites from many species were collected in the native range of the Formosan subterranean termite in southern China. A new species of nematode was found on the Black-winged subterreanean termite. The nematodes were grown on termites and wax moth larvae, and the nematode is formally described. The nematode was tested on another species of termite, but the test results were inconclusive. The nematode may be considered as a possible biocontrol agent against Formosan subterranean termites.

Technical Abstract: Chroniodiplogaster formosiana sp. n. (Rhabditida: Diplogasteridae) is described from a population of Odontotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera:Termitidae) collected from dead (unidentified) wood at Dinghu Park, China. Characters of C. formosiana which separate it from C. aerivora (Cobb) are a longer tail, the presence of 4 micropapillae (quadriform condition) and the adjacent position of the second and third macropapillae on the male tail. The diplogasterid, Pristionchus uniformis Fedorko & Stanuszek, which is transferred to Chroniodiplogaster, can be distinguished from both C. formosiana and C. aerivora by the position of its excretory pore. Mortality of Formosan termites by C. formosiana occurred after developing stages had established themselves in the host’s alimentary tract. Eventually the nematodes would break through the gut wall and cause a fatal septicemia. Variable results in experimental infection trials suggests that some still unknown factor or factors are important in determining termite susceptibility to the nematodes. Further studies are necessary to better define these factors before C. formosiana can be considered as a biological control agent of the Formosan termite.