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Biology of Acrobeles Complexus Thorne, Cultivated On Agar

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For more content, see Nematology.

The biology of Acrobeles complexus, cultivated in the presence of its associated microorganisms on agar in Petri plates and in Van Tieghem chambers, was studied. Embryology and post-embryonic development are described and illustrated. The oocyte became enveloped in a mammillate membrane before it was expelled from the uterus; the pronuclei fused immediately after egg deposition. The life cycle, from egg to egg, was completed in an average of 32 days at 25° C ambient temperature; mean embryonic development lasted 6, and post-embryonic, 25 days. First-stage larvae are distinctive in having only three columnar labial probolae. The sclerotised surfaces of the oesophageal valve passed into the intestine toward the end of each moult and were defaecated. Maximum reproduction took place at 34° C; there was none at 5° C, and at 37° C eggs were laid but the larvae died. Effective temperature threshold for the species was between 10° and 15° C. Growth curves are presented for populations incubated at 20° C and 30° C. At 25° C, more than twice as many individuals developed in darkness compared to those exposed to 8 ft. candles of light. pH values of 4.0, 4.5, 5.5, 6.5 and 7.7 had little effect on reproduction of the nematode, except at pH 4.0, where inhibition of bacterial growth apparently prevented it.

Affiliations: 1: National Agricultural Advisory Service, Starcross, Exeter, England


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