, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 179–187 | Cite as

Phoretic dispersal of the entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis amazonensis by the beetle Calosoma granulatum

  • Natalia Ramos Mertz
  • Elsa Judith Guevara Agudelo
  • Fernanda Soares Sales
  • Cristhiane Rohde
  • Alcides Moino Jr.


Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) have limited ability to travel and need to adopt alternative strategies to reach hosts that are far away. They can attach themselves to an organism that acts only as a dispersal agent to transport the EPN to places that they cannot reach by themselves. The larval and adult stages of Calosoma granulatum (Coleoptera: Carabidae) beetle are important predators of caterpillars that live in the soil of Brazilian agricultural systems. The nematode Heterorhabditis amazonensis (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae) is a native of Brazil and plays a major role in the control of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) caterpillars. This study assessed the ability of C. granulatum to carry and disperse H. amazonensis. The experimental arenas consisted of two types of containers with substrate connected by a plastic tube through which the insects could move freely. Only one of the containers received infective juveniles (IJ) and the other was used as the test container. We first used C. granulatum larvae and adults to evaluate the influence of different concentrations of IJs on phoretic behavior. Then different distances traveled by the adult beetle were tested to measure their effect on IJ transport. The results showed that C. granulatum is a good phoretic dispersal agent and the transport of IJs by the larvae is less influenced than transport by the adult, by a change in the IJ concentration. The distance traveled by the adult influences the number of EPN carried and the detection of phoresy even at greater distances (40 cm) indicates that C. granulatum is capable of transporting the EPN for distances greater than those evaluated.


Biological control Entomopathogen Non-target organism Transportation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalia Ramos Mertz
    • 1
  • Elsa Judith Guevara Agudelo
    • 1
  • Fernanda Soares Sales
    • 1
  • Cristhiane Rohde
    • 2
  • Alcides Moino Jr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Insect Pathology Laboratory, Department of EntomologyUniversidade Federal de LavrasLavrasBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Federal Fronteira SulLaranjeiras do SulBrazil

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