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Morphology and the Post-Embryonic Development of the Bark Beetle Nematode Contortylenchus Reversus (Sphaerulariidae)

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For more content, see Nematology.

Studies on the post-embryonic development of Contortylenchus reversus (Thorne), parasitic in the hemocoel of Dendroctonus pseudotsugae, indicate that the nematode has four molts in its life cycle, three of which occur in the host hemocoel. The sex of the larvae can be distinguished from the second stage onwards by the structure of the genital primordium. The gonads of male larvae develop faster than those of female larvae, and the female gonad reaches maturity only after the female enters a new host. The fourth stage larvae leave the beetle and molt into adults in the beetle galleries. Within a week, copulation occurs, the males die, and the fertilized females locate a new host. After entry into the new host, the nematode increases three to four times in size and her gonad develops until it occupies nearly the whole pseudocoelom. She lays hundreds of unembryonated eggs which hatch as first stage larvae. The nutritional requirements for the development of the female and the larvae within the hemocoel of the host are supplied by the host, much to the detriment of the latter.

Affiliations: 1: Pestology Centre, Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Vancouver, B. C., Canada


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