This study describes the basic ecological characteristics of the entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema scarabaei (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae) that was originally isolated from epizootics in scarab populations in New Jersey turfgrass areas. Under laboratory conditions, S. scarabaei infected a limited range of insect species and appeared best adapted to scarab larvae as hosts. It uses a widely ranging foraging strategy with a low attachment rate to mobile hosts on the soil surface but with excellent infection of sedentary host placed at ≥ 2 cm soil depth. It has a wide thermal activity range with optimum infectivity from 17.5 to 25°C. Because of its foraging strategy and adaptation to scarab larvae as hosts, S. scarabaei has outstanding potential for the control of scarab pests.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Biological control
- Foraging behavior
- Host range
- Temperature effects