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Steinernema fabii n. sp. (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae), a new entomopathogenic nematode from South Africa

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A new species of entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema fabii n. sp., was isolated by trapping with wax moth (Galleria mellonella) larvae from soil in an Acacia mearnsii plantation in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. The new species is morphologically characterised by the length of the infective juvenile (IJ) of 641 (590-697) μm, by a tail length of 58 (52-64) μm, ratio a = 24 (21-41), H% = 53 (37-61) and E% = 93 (83-105). The pattern of the lateral field of the IJ of the new species is 2, 5, 2 ridges (3, 6, 3 incisures). The male of the first generation can be recognised by the long spicule of 90 (79-106) μm and gubernaculum of 66 (56-77) μm; D% = 64 (52-75) and GS% = 73 (63-86). The first generation female can be recognised by a protruding vulva with a short, double-flapped epiptygmata, and the lack of a postanal swelling, while the second generation differs in having a postanal swelling and a conical, sharply pointed tail. Analysis of DNA sequences for the ITS and D2-D3 gene regions showed S. fabii n. sp. to differ from all other Steinernema species and to belong to a new monophyletic group, the ‘Cameroonian’ clade, consisting of S. cameroonense, S. nyetense, S. sacchari and S. fabii n. sp., all from the African continent. This group is closely related to species in the feltiae-kraussei-oregonense Clade III.

Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Zoology and Entomology, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa; 2: 2Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Department of AgriSciences, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa; 3: 3Laboratory for Electron Microscopy, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa; 4: 4Department of Genetics, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa


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