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Analysis of the Predation By Aporcelaimellus Nivalis On Prey Nematodes From Different Prey Trophic Categories

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Numerical analysis of the predatory behaviour of Aporcelaimellus nivalis, including strike rate encounters resulting in attack, attacks resulting in wounding, feeding after wounding, prey left unconsumed and duration of feeding upon an individual, was made in relation to five different prey trophic categories: 1) Bacterial feeders (Saprophagous nematodes), 2) Migratory juveniles (Sedentory endoparasitic nematodes), 3) Epidermal feeders (Ectoparasitic nematodes), 4) Cortical feeders (Ectoparasitic nematodes) and 5) Predatory nematodes. The degree of susceptibility on individual prey and prey trophic categories as a whole was found to vary. The endoparasitic nematodes were highly susceptible (prey susceptibility = 77%) but predators resisted predation well (prey resistance (PR) = 78%). Characteristics such as thick body cuticle, body annulations and thick longitudinal cuticular folds provided physical resistance to Hoplolaimus indicus, Scutellonema sp., Hemicriconemoides mangiferae, Hemicycliophora dhirendri and Mononchoides fortidens (PF= 100%). Mononchus aquaticus and Rhabditis sp. exhibited behavioural resistance in the form of rapid undula. tory movements and took evasive action when attacked. No individuals of Helicotylenchus indicu. were consumed by the predators. This was attributed to unfavourable/toxic prey contents (chemical resistance). Duration of feeding on an individual prey depended on the size of the prey and other physical and chemical factors.

Affiliations: 1: Section of Nematology, Department of Zoology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh-202002. India


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