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Steinernema silvaticum sp. n. (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae), a new entomopathogenic nematode from Europe

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Steinernema silvaticum sp. n. is described from woodland soil near Berlin, Germany. The species is quite common in European woodlands, being found in forest soil all over Germany, in Belgium, the Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. It was previously reported as Steinernema sp. 'B' in Germany and the Czech Republic, and as Steinernema sp. 'B3' in UK, Belgian and Dutch surveys. Third-stage infective juveniles are mainly characterised by a straight body of medium length (means = 700–900 μm), lateral fields with eight equal ridges (with appearance of nine parallel, equally spaced lines under light microscope), rather broad, flatly rounded and continuous cephalic region, excretory pore at level of mid-pharynx and average hyaline tail portion constituting ca half total tail length; males with mucronate tail, yellowish spicules of ca 50 μm length and wide manubria; females with short conoid tail with pointed non-mucronate tip. According to the ITS rDNA sequences, S. silvaticum sp. n. belongs to the 'feltiae-kraussei-oregonense' group of Steinernema species, although it is closest to S. kraussei. The new species shows a high level of nucleotide differences in ITS rDNA sequences from other steinernematid species and can be easily distinguished from S. kraussei, S. feltiae, S. oregonense, S. weiseri and S. jollieti by morphological characters of the infective juveniles and males.


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