NATURALLY OCCURRING ENTOMOPATHOGENIC NEMATODES IN THE PROVINCE OF EAST-FLANDERS, BELGIUM
AbstractA survey of naturally occurring entomopathogenic nematodes was undertaken in the province of East-Flanders, Belgium. A total of 180 samples were taken from 31 sites of different agronomic characteristics. Using Galleria larva bait technique, eleven soil samples were found positive for entomopathogenic nematodes. Morphometrics identified seven populations as Steinernema feltiae and four as Steinernema affinis. These identifications were confirmed biochemically. The entomopathogenic nematodes were detected in woodland (3.3%), roadside verges (2.2%) and in grassland (0.5%) but not in cultivated fields. They occurred in soils with 63-95% sand fraction and 3.7-9.3% organic matter. Neither species was pathogenic to the blackvine weevil Otiorhynchus sulcatus but showed different levels of infectivity to Galleria mellonella.