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NEMATODES AND NEMATOMORPHS AS CONTROL AGENTS OF GRASSHOPPERS AND LOCUSTS

  • Graeme L. Baker (a1) and John L. Capinera (a2)

Abstract

The relationship of nematodes and nematomorphs with grasshoppers and locusts is reviewed, emphasizing the actual or potential role of these parasitoids in microbial management. There are records of mermithids parasitizing grasshoppers worldwide, and they are considered important biological control agents in some grassland ecosystems of Europe, North and South America, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and Australia. Nematomorphs, although widely distributed, are uncommon parasitoids of grasshoppers, and their dependence on free-standing water for host infection and apparent host specificity are considered drawbacks to their use in biological control programmes. The ascaridids, spirarids, and acanthocephalans are parasites of birds and mammals, and may use grasshoppers as intermediate hosts. They have been shown to debilitate grasshopper hosts in laboratory studies, but their primary role as parasites of vertebrates precludes any consideration as biological control agents. Rhabditids do not naturally parasitize grasshoppers, but recent advances in mass-culturing techniques have given them a potential role as bioinsecticides for the control of grasshoppers. Quantitative data on the effects of nematodes and nematomorphs on agricultural pests, including grasshoppers and locusts, are generally lacking. However, there is evidence that some, particularly mermithids, are important in the population dynamics of grasshoppers and locusts. Keys to the identification of the various 'worms' found in grasshoppers and locusts are provided, including keys to the species of mermithids.

Les relations entre les nématodes et nématomorphes et les criquets ont fait l'objet d'une révision destinée à déterminer le rôle réel ou potentiel de ces parasitoïdes comme agents de lutte microbienne. Le parasitisme des criquets par des mermithidés est un phénomène connu globalement et ces parasites sont considérés comme d'importants agents passifs de lutte biologique dans certains écosystèmes de prairies herbeuses en Europe, dans les Amériques, en Papouasie/Nouvelle-Guinée, en Nouvelle-Zélande et en Australie. Les nématomorphes, quoique très répandus, sont des parasitoïdes peu communs des criquets et leur cycle biologique particulier et leur apparente spécificité d'hôte sont considérés comme des obstacles à leur utilisation comme agents de lutte biologique. Les ascarididés, spiruridés et acanthocéphales sont des parasites d'oiseaux et de mammifères qui n'utilisent les criquets que comme hôtes intermédiaires. Ils peuvent avoir des effets débilitants sur les criquets hôtes, mais le fait qu'ils soient avant tout des parasites de vertébrés les écarte des programmes de lutte biologique. Les rhabditidés ne sont pas des parasites naturels des criquets, mais des développements récents dans les techniques de culture en masse leur attribuent une place comme bioinsecticides potentiels des populations de criquets. Les données quantitatives sur les effets des nématodes et des nématomorphes sur les organismes ravageurs des cultures, dont les criquets, sont à peu près inexistantes. Cependant, il existe de fortes probabilités que certains de ces organismes, particulièrement les mermithidés, aient une influence importante sur la dynamique des populations de criquets. Des clés permettront l'identification des différents 'vers' qui parasitent les criquets, notamment des clés sur les diverses espèces de mermithidés. [Traduit par la Rédaction]

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NEMATODES AND NEMATOMORPHS AS CONTROL AGENTS OF GRASSHOPPERS AND LOCUSTS

  • Graeme L. Baker (a1) and John L. Capinera (a2)

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