Distribution of entomopathogenic nematodes of the genus Heterorhabditis (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae) in Bulgaria


  • D. Gradinarov
  • E. Petrova
  • Y. Mutafchiev
  • O. Karadjova


The results from studies on entomopathogenic nematodes of the genus Heterorhabditis Poinar, 1976 (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae) in Bulgaria, conducted during 1994-2010 are summarized. Of the 1,227 soil samples collected, 3.5% were positive for the presence of Heterorhabditis spp. Specimens belonging to the genus were obtained from 43 soil samples collected at 27 localities in different regions of the country. Heterorhabditids were established at altitudes from 0 to 1175 m, in habitats both along the Black Sea coast and inland. The prevalent species was H. bacteriophora Poinar, 1976. Its identity was confirmed by detailed morphometric studies and molecular analyses of four recently obtained isolates. Inland, H. bacteriophora prefers alluvial soils in river valleys under herbaceous and woody vegetation. It was also found in calcareous soils with pronounced fluctuations in the temperature and water conditions. The presence of the species H. megidis Poinar, Jackson et Klein, 1987 in Bulgaria needs further confirmation.