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Variation in entomopathogenic nematode (Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae) infective-stage jumping behaviour

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For more content, see Nematologica.

Species and strains of entomopathogenic nematodes (Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae) were assessed for the expression of standing and jumping behaviour. Jumping occurred in 11 species of Steinernema, but the rate of jumping varied considerably among the species. Variation in the duration of crawling bouts, the tendency to body wave, the rate of standing, the duration of standing bouts, and the tendency to jump after standing contributed to the differences in frequency of jumping among species. Within a species, nematodes that jumped were similar in size, infectivity and sex ratio to those that did not jump, but jumpers tended to be more infective and to have lost their sheath (i.e., the second stage cuticle). This comparison of species is an important first step in assessing the adaptive value of jumping behaviour as part of the foraging strategies of entomopathogenic nematodes.


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