Feeding activity and survival of slugs, Deroceras reticulatum, exposed to the rhabditid nematode, Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita: A model of dose response

D M Glen, M J Wilson, P Brain, G Stroud

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The slug, Deroceras reticulatum (Stylommatophora: Limacidae), was exposed to different concentrations of infective dauer juveniles of the rhabditid nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita, in a two-stage bioassay, at 10 degrees C. Slugs were exposed in groups of 10 or 12 to nematodes in plastic boxes filled with soil aggregates for 3 or 5 days and then transferred individually to petri dishes each containing a disk of Chinese cabbage leaf as food. Subsequently, slug food consumption and survival were measured for 10 to 13 days. Models were developed to describe the way that exposure to the nematode caused inhibition of slug feeding followed by death. Both effects were related to nematode concentrations and time after exposure to the nematode. Following exposure to high concentrations (300,000 dauer juveniles per box), slugs were killed rapidly, within a few days after the end of the exposure period. Following exposure to low concentrations of nematodes (7000 or 15,000 per box), substantial numbers of slugs survived until the end of the bioassay, but feeding activity by these slugs was strongly inhibited. It is suggested that inhibition of slug feeding is important for the success of this nematode as a biocontrol agent. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-81
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Control
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Gastropoda
  • mollusc
  • biological control
  • feeding inhibition
  • parasite
  • infective dauer juveniles
  • bioassay

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