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The Effect of Host Stage and Temperature On the Development of Hexamermis Sp. (Nematoda: Mermithidae) in the Australian Plague Locust Chor Toicetes Terminifera (Walker) (Orthoptera: Acrididae)

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Female Chortoicetes terminifera were infected in the laboratory by a mermithid nematode, Hex- amermis sp., to determine the effect of host stage and temperature on development of the parasite. The rate of infection achieved in the laboratory was higher in instars one and two than in instars three, four, five and the adult. This was attributed to differences in the rate of phagocytosis of parasitic juveniles between these host stages. The duration of parasite development was independent of host stage with the mean duration for all host stages being 24.2 d at 25°C. There was a negative relationship between the duration of parasite development and temperature. The mean duration in third instar hosts was 54 d at 20°C, 23.4 d at 25°C, 16.2 d at 30°C and 14.5 d at 35°C. The mean body length of nematodes on emergence from the host was positively related with host stage. The body length of nematodes on emergence from the host was independent of temperature.

Affiliations: 1: Biological and Chemical Research Institute, NSW Agriculture & Fisheries, PMB 10, Rydalmere, NSW 2116, Australia


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