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The gastropod parasitic nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphroditadoes not affect non-target freshwater snails Lymnaea stagnalis, Bithynia tentaculataand Planorbarius corneus

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Phasmarhabditis hermaphroditais a lethal parasite of several slug and snail species that has been formulated into a biological control agent. However, the complete host range of this nematode is poorly understood, in particular its potential to affect non-target aquatic snail species. Here we exposed three species of juvenile and adult freshwater snail ( Lymnaea stagnalis, Planorbarius corneusand Bithynia tentaculata) to 30 and 150 P. hermaphroditacm −2and assessed survival, as well as differences in weight for 66 days. We show that P. hermaphroditahas no effect on the survival of L. stagnalis, P. corneusand B. tentaculataafter 66 days of exposure. In summary, we found little evidence of P. hermaphroditacausing mortality to three freshwater snail species at two different life stages and believe that P. hermaphroditawould have little effect on non-target snail species in the wild.

Affiliations: 1: Liverpool John Moores University, School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Byrom Street, Liverpool L33AF, UK


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