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Nematodes that associate with terrestrial molluscs as definitive hosts, including Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita (Rhabditida: Rhabditidae) and its development as a biological molluscicide

  • A. Pieterse (a1), A.P. Malan (a1) and J.L. Ross (a1) (a2)


Terrestrial molluscs (Mollusca: Gastropoda) are important economic pests worldwide, causing extensive damage to a variety of crop types, and posing a health risk to both humans and wildlife. Current knowledge indicates that there are eight nematode families that associate with molluscs as definitive hosts, including Agfidae, Alaninematidae, Alloionematidae, Angiostomatidae, Cosmocercidae, Diplogastridae, Mermithidae and Rhabditidae. To date, Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita (Schneider, 1859) Andrássy, 1983 (Rhabditida: Rhabditidae) is the only nematode that has been developed as a biological molluscicide. The nematode, which was commercially released in 1994 by MicroBio Ltd, Littlehampton, UK (formally Becker Underwood, now BASF) under the tradename Nemaslug®, is now sold in 15 different European countries. This paper reviews nematodes isolated from molluscs, with specially detailed information on the life cycle, host range, commercialization, natural distribution, mass production and field application of P. hermaphrodita.


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