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First record of Phasmarhabditis papillosa (Nematoda: Rhabditidae) in South Africa, and its virulence against the invasive slug, Deroceras panormitanum

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Worldwide interest in Phasmarhabditis originates from the successful commercialisation of P. hermaphrodita as a biological control agent against molluscs in Europe. To date, P. hermaphrodita has not been isolated from South Africa and, therefore, the formulated product may not be sold locally. During a survey for mollusc-associated nematodes, P. papillosa was dissected from the slug, Deroceras reticulatum, collected from George, South Africa. The nematode was identified using a combination of morphological, morphometric, molecular and phylogenetic techniques. Virulence tests were conducted which demonstrated that P. papillosa caused significant mortality to the European invasive slug Deroceras panormitanum. Additional data are provided in the morphometrics of the infective juvenile and in the molecular identification, using the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox1) gene. This is the first report of P. papillosa from the African continent and of its virulence against D. panormitanum.

Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Faculty of Agrisciences, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa ; 2: 2Laboratory for Electron Microscopy, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa ; 3: 3Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UU, UK

*Corresponding author, e-mail:

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