Original Paper

Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 1-7

First online:

Testate amoebae as predators of nematodes

  • Gregor W. YeatesAffiliated withLandcare Research
  • , Wilhelm FoissnerAffiliated withInstitut für Zoologie, Universität Salzburg

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Testacea were observed ingesting nematodes in the litter horizons of native forests in New Zealand. Nematodes were most commonly attacked from the tail end but some specimens were attacked at mid-body. Nematodes with damaged tails were recovered in greatest numbers from the highest, wettest site sampled. Nebela (Apodera) vas (Certes, 1989) and Difflugia sp. (possibly lanceolata Penard, 1890) were the predators; both species were redescribed using light and scanning electron microscopy and morphometry. Most damaged nematodes were Ironus sp. but Clarkus, Tobrilus, Iotonchus, Cobbonchus, Dorylaimus and Plectus were also attacked. Literature on testacean feeding strategies was reviewed briefly.

Key words

Testate amoebae Nematodes Predation Soil Litter Nebela (Apodera) vas Difflugia lanceolata