The pecan weevil, Curculio caryae (Horn), is a key pest of pecans in the Southeast. Entomopathogenic nematodes have been shown to be pathogenic toward the larval stage of this pest. Before this research, only three species of nematodes had been tested against pecan weevil larvae. In this study, the virulence of the following nine species and 15 strains of nematodes toward fourth-instar pecan weevil was tested: Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Poinar (Baine, HP88, Oswego, NJ1, and Tf strains), H. indica Poinar, Karunakar & David (original and Hom1 strains), H. marelatus Liu & Berry (IN and Point Reyes strains), H. megidis Poinar, Jackson & Klein (UK211 strain), H. zealandica Poinar (NZH3 strain), Steinernema riobrave Cabanillas, Poinar & Raulston (355 strain), S. carpocapsae (Weiser) (All strain), S. feltiae (Filipjev) (SN strain), and S. glaseri (Steiner) (NJ43 strain). No significant difference in virulence was detected among nematode species or strains. Nematode-induced mortality was not significantly greater than control mortality (in any of the experiments conducted) for the following nematodes: H. bacteriophora (Baine), H. zealandica (NZH3), S. carpocapsae (All), S. feltiae (SN), S. glaseri (NJ43), and S. riobrave (355). All other nematodes caused greater mortality than the control in at least one experiment. Heterorhabditis megidis (UK211) but not H. indica (original) displayed a positive linear relationship between nematode concentration and larval mortality. Results suggested that, as pecan weevil larvae age, they may have become more resistant to infection with entomopathogenic nematodes.
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Vol. 94 • No. 1