Agamermis (Nematoda: Mermithidae) Infection in South Carolina Agricultural Pests


Share / Export Citation / Email / Print / Text size:

Journal of Nematology

Society of Nematologists

Subject: Life Sciences


ISSN: 0022-300X
eISSN: 2640-396X





Volume / Issue / page

Related articles

VOLUME 48 , ISSUE 4 (December 2016) > List of articles

Agamermis (Nematoda: Mermithidae) Infection in South Carolina Agricultural Pests


Keywords : Agamermis, agricultural pests, detection, entomoparasitic nematode, hemipteran, Mermithidae, pentatomid, plataspid.

Citation Information : Journal of Nematology. Volume 48, Issue 4, Pages 290-296, DOI:

License : (CC BY 4.0)

Received Date : 26-May-2016 / Published Online: 21-July-2017



Native and invasive stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) and the closely related invasive Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera:
Plataspidae) are agricultural pests in the southeastern United States. Natural enemies, from various phyla, parasitize these pests and contribute to population regulation. We specifically investigated Nematoda infections in pentatomid and plataspid pests in one soybean field in South Carolina in 2015. Nematodes were identified through molecular and morphological methods and assigned to family Mermithidae, genus Agamermis. This study reports mermithid nematode infection in immature M. cribraria for the first time and provides the first mermithid host record for the stink bugs Chinavia hilaris, Euschistus servus, and another Euschistus species, and a grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) in South Carolina. The same Agamermis species infected all hosts. The broad host range and prevalence suggests that Agamermis may be an important contributor to natural mortality of pentatomid and plataspid pests. Previous mermithid host records for the Pentatomidae and Plataspidae worldwide are summarized. Further work is needed to assess the impact of infection on populations over a broader range of agricultural fields and geographic localities.

Content not available PDF Share



  1. Baker, G. L., and Poinar Jr., G. O. 1995. Agamermis catadecaudata n. sp. (Nematoda: Mermithidae), a parasitoid of Orthoptera in south-eastern Australia. Fundamental and Applied Nematology 18:139–148.
  2. Barbour, K. S., Bradley, J. R., and Bacheler, J. S. 1990. Reduction in yield and quality of cotton damaged by green stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 83:842–845.
  3. Baur, M. E., Sosa-Gomez, D. R., Ottea, J., Leonard, B. R.,Corso, I. C., Silva, J. D. A., Temple, J., and Boethel, D. J. 2010. Susceptibility to insecticides used for control of Piezodorus guildinii (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) in the United States and Brazil. Journal of Economic Entomology 103:869–876.
  4. Bhatnagar, V. S., Pawar, C. S., Jadhav, D. R., and Davies, J. C. 1985. Mermithid nematodes as parasites of Heliothis spp. and other crop pests in Andhra Pradesh. Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences Animal Sciences 94:509–515.
  5. Choo, H. Y., and Kaya, H. K. 1990. Parasitism of brown planthopper and whitebacked planthopper by Agamermis unka in Korea. Journal of Nematology 22:513–517.
  6. Choo, H. Y., and Kaya, H. K. 1994. Biological control of the brown planthopper by a mermithid nematode. Korean Journal of Applied Entomology 33:207–215.
  7. Choo, H. Y., Kaya, H. K., and Kim, H. H. 1995. Biological studies on Agamermis unka (Nematoda: Mermithidae), a parasite of the brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens. Biocontrol Science and Technology
  8. Christie, J. R. 1936. Life history of Agamermis decaudata, a nematode parasite of grasshoppers and other insects. Journal of Agricultural Research 52:161–198.
  9. Cobb, N. A., Steiner, G., and Christie, J. R. 1923. Agamermis decaudata Cobb, Steiner, and Christie: A nema parasite of grasshoppers and other insects. Journal of Agricultural Research 23:921–926.
  10. Dhiman, S. C., and Yadav, Y. K. 2004. Studies on parasitoids of Halys dentatus Fabr. (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) and their bio-control efficacy. Annals of Plant Protection Sciences 12:260–262.
  11. Dikyar, R. 1981. Biology and control of Aelia rostrata in central Anatolia. EPPO Bulletin 11:39–41.
  12. Esquivel, J. F. 2011. Euschistus servus (Say)—A new host record for Mermithidae (Mermithida). Southwestern Entomologist 36:207–211.
  13. Folmer, O., Black, M., Hoeh, W., Lutz, R., and Vrijenhoek, R. 1994. DNA primers for amplification of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I from diverse metazoan invertebrates. Molecular Marine
    Biology and Biotechnology 3:294–299.
  14. Froeschner, R. C. 1988. Family pentatomidae leach, 1815 The stink bugs. Pp. 544–597 in T. J. Henry and R. C. Froeschner, eds. Catalog of the Heteroptera, or true bugs, of Canada and the continental United States. New York, NY: E. J. Brill.
  15. Fuxa, J. E., Fuxa, J. R., Richter, A. R., and Weidner, E. H. 2000. Prevalence of a trypanosomatid in the southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 47:388–394.
  16. Gardner, W. A., Blount, J. L., Golec, J. R., Jones, W. A., Hu, X. P., Talamas, E. J., Evans, R. M., Dong, X., Ray Jr., C. H., and Buntin, G. D. 2013. Discovery of Paratelenomus saccharalis (Dodd) (Hymenoptera:
    Platygastridae), an egg parasitoid of Megacopta cribraria F. (Hemiptera:Plataspidae) in its expanded North American range. Journal of Entomological Science 48:355–359.
  17. Gokulpure, R. S. 1970. Some new hosts of a juvenile mermithid of the genus Hexamermis (Steiner). Indian Journal of Entomology 32:387–389.
  18. Golec, J. R., Hu, X. P., Ray, C., andWoodley, N. E. 2013. Strongygaster triangulifera (Diptera: Tachinidae) as a parasitoid of adults of the invasive Megacopta cribraria (Heteroptera: Plataspidae) in Alabama. Journal of Entomological Science 48:352–354.
  19. Greene, J. K., Turnipseed, S. G., Sullivan, M. J., and May, O. L. 2001. Treatment thresholds for stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in cotton. Journal of Economic Entomology 94:403–409.
  20. Greenstone, M. H., Tillman, P. G., and Hu, J. S. 2014. Predation of the newly invasive pest Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae) in soybean habitats adjacent to cotton by a complex of predators. Journal of Economic Entomology 107:947–954.
  21. Hopkins, B. W., Knutson, A. E., Bernal, J. S., Treacy, M. F., and Smith, C. W. 2010. Species composition, damage potential, and insecticide susceptibility of stink bugs in cotton in the Lower Gulf Coast region of Texas. Southwestern Entomologist 35:19–32.
  22. Igbinosa, I. B. 1988. Parasites of the immature stages of Latoia viridissima Holland (Lep., Limacodidae), a pest of palms in Nigeria. Journal of Applied Entomology 106:527–530.3
  23. Jones, W. A. 1988. World review of the parasitoids of the southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula (L.) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 81:262–273.3
  24. Jones, W. A., Shepard, B. M., and Sullivan, M. J. 1996. Incidence of parasitism of pentatomid (Heteroptera) pests of soybean in South Carolina with a review of studies in other states. Journal of Agricultural Entomology 13:243–263.
  25. Jones, W. A., and Sullivan, M. J. 1982. Role of host plants in population dynamics of stink bug pests of soybean in South Carolina. Environmental Entomology 11:867–875.
  26. Kaburaki, T., and Imamura, S. 1932. Mermithid-worm parasitic in leaf-hoppers, with notes on its life history and habits. Proceedings of the Imperial Academy 8:139–141.
  27. Kaiser, H. 1991. Terrestrial and semiterrestrial Mermithidae. Pp. 899–965 in W. R Nickle, ed. Manual of agricultural nematology. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker.
  28. Kamminga, K. L., Davis, J. A., Stock, S. P., and Richter, A. R. 2012. First report of a mermithid nematode infecting Piezodorus guildinii and Acrosternum hilare (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in the United States. Florida Entomologist 95:214–217.
  29. Kaya, H. K., and Stock, S. P. 1997. Techniques in insect nematology. Pp. 281–324 in L. A. Lacey, ed. Manual of techniques in insect pathology. London, United Kingdom: Academic Press.
  30. Koppel, A. L., Herbert, D. A., Kuhar, T., and Kamminga, K. 2009. Survey of stink bug (Hemiptera:Pentatomidae) egg parasitoids in wheat, soybean, and vegetable crops in southeast Virginia. Environmental Entomology 38:375–379.
  31. Leskey, T. C., Hamilton, G. C., Nielsen, A. L., Polk, D. F., Rodriguez-Saona, C., Bergh, J. C., Herbert, D. A., Kuhar, T. P., Pfeiffer, D., and Dively, G. P. 2012. Pest status of the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys in the USA. Outlooks on Pest Management 23:218–226.
  32. Manachini, B., and Landi, S. 2003. New record of Hexamermis sp. (Nematoda: Mermithidae) parasiting (sic) Rhaphigaster nebulosa Poda (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Bollettino di Zoologia Agraria e di Bachicoltura 35:91–94.
  33. McPherson, J. E., and McPherson, R. 2000. Stink bugs of economic importance in America north of Mexico. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
  34. Michelbacher, A. E., Middlekauff, W. W., and Bacon, O. G. 1952. Stink bug injury to tomatoes in California. Journal of Economic Entomology 45:126.
  35. Musser, F. R., Catchot Jr., A. L., Davis, J. A., Herbert Jr., D. A., Lorenz, G. M., Reed, T., Reisig, D. D., and Stewart, S. D. 2012. 2011 Soybean insect losses in the southern US. Midsouth Entomologist 5:11–22.
  36. Musser, F. R., Catchot Jr., A. L., Davis, J. A., Herbert Jr., D. A., Lorenz, G. M., Reed, T., Reisig, D. D., and Stewart, S. D. 2013. 2012 Soybean insect losses in the southern US. Midsouth Entomologist 6:12–24
  37. Musser, F. R., Catchot Jr., A. L., Davis, J. A., Herbert Jr., D. A., Lorenz, G. M., Reed, T., Reisig, D. D., and Stewart, S. D. 2014. 2013 Soybean insect losses in the southern US. Midsouth Entomologist 7:15–28.
  38. Musser, F. R., Catchot Jr., A. L., Davis, J. A., Herbert Jr., D. A., Lorenz, G. M., Reed, T., Reisig, D. D., and Stewart, S. D. 2015. 2014 Soybean insect losses in the southern US. Midsouth Entomologist 8:35–48.
  39. Negron, J. F., and Riley, T. J. 1987. Southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae), feeding in corn. Journal of Economic Entomology 80:666–669.
  40. Nickle, W. R. 1981. Mermithid parasites of agricultural pest insects. Journal of Nematology 13:262–266.
  41. Nielsen, A. L., and Hamilton, G. C. 2009. Life history of the invasive species Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in northeastern United States. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 102:608–616.
  42. O’Neil, R. J. 1988. Predation by Podisus maculiventris (Say) on Mexican bean beetle, Epilachna varivestis Mulsant, in Indiana soybeans. The Canadian Entomologist 120:161–166.
  43. Orr, D. B., Sussin, J. S., Boethel, D. J., and Jones, W. A. 1986. Stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) egg parasitism in Louisiana soybeans. Environmental Entomology 15:1250–1254.
  44. Poinar Jr., G. O. 1979. Nematodes for biological control of insects. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
  45. Poinar Jr., G. O., Porter, S. P., Tang, S., and Hyman, B. C. 2007. Allomermis solenopsi n. sp. (Nematoda: Mermithidae) parasitising the fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Argentina.
    Systematic Parasitology 68:115–128.
  46. Riberiro, A., and Castiglioni, E. 2008. Characterization of populations of natural enemies of Piezodorus guildinii (Westwood) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) Agrociencia 12:48–56. (In Spanish).
  47. Rings, R. W. 1957. Types and seasonal incidence of stink bug injury to peaches. Journal of Economic Entomology 50:599–604.
  48. Ruberson, J. R., Nemoto, H., and Hirose, Y. 1998. Pesticides and conservation of natural enemies in pest management. Pp. 207–220 in P.A. Barbosa, ed. Conservation biological control. San Diego, CA:Academic Press.
  49. Ruberson, J. R., Takasu, K., Buntin, G. D., Eger, Jr., J. E., Gardner, W. A., Greene, J. K., Jenkins, T. M., Jones, W. A., Olson, D. M., Roberts, P. M., Suiter, D. R., and Toews, M. D. 2013. From Asian curiosity to eruptive American pest: Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae) and prospects for its biological control. Applied Entomology and Zoology 48:3–13.
  50. Rubtsov, I. A. 1969. On a new species of Agamermis (Mermithidae) of a bug in Poland. Acta Parasitologica Polonica 16:97–99.
  51. Rubtsov, I. A. 1977. New genus and two new species of mermithids from bugs. Parazitologiia 11:541–544. (In Russian).
  52. Seiter, N. J., Grabke, A., Greene, J. K., Kerrigan, J. L., and Reay-Jones, F. P. F. 2014. Beauveria bassiana as a pathogen of Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae) in South Carolina. Journal of Entomological Science 49:326–330.
  53. Stubbins, F. L., Agudelo, P., Reay-Jones, F. P. F., and Greene, J. K.2015. First report of a mermithid nematode infecting the invasive Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae) in the United States. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 127:35–37.
  54. Sultanov,M. A., Artyukhovskii, A. K., and Lysikova, E. A. 1990. Hosts of mermithids—The most important pests of farm and forest plants in Uzbekistan. Pp. 186–191 in M. D. Sonin and V. S. Kothekar, eds. Helminths of insects. New Delhi, India: Oxonian Press.
  55. Tarla, G., Tarla, S., and Islamoglu, M. 2015. First report of Hexamermis sp. (Nematoda: Mermithidae) parasitizing Eurygaster maura (Heteroptera: Scutelleridae) in an overwintering area. Florida Entomologist
  56. Tarla, G., Tarla, S., Islamoglu, M., and Kodan, M. 2012. Parasitism of the wheat stinkbug, Aelia rostrata Boh. (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) with the entomopathogenic nematode, Hexamermis sp. (Nematoda:Mermithidae). Egyptian Journal of Biological Pest Control 22:141–143.
  57. Temple, J. H., Davis, J. A., Micinski, S., Hardke, J. T., Price, P., and Leonard, B. R. 2013a. Species composition and seasonal abundance of stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in Louisiana soybean. Environmental 
    Entomology 42:648–657.
  58. Temple, J. H., Davis, J. A., Hardke, J., Moore, J., and Leonard, B. R. 2013b. Susceptibility of southern green stink bug and redbanded stink bug to insecticides in soybean field experiments and laboratory bioassays. Southwestern Entomologist 38:393–406.
  59. Vandergast, A. G., and Roderick, G. K. 2003. Mermithid parasitism of Hawaiian Tetragnatha spiders in a fragmented landscape. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 84:128–136.
  60. Viator, H. P., Pantoja, A., and Smith, C. M. 1983. Damage to wheat seed quality and yield by the rice stink bug and southern green stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 76:1410–1413.
  61. Weaver, C. R., and King, D. R. 1954. Meadow spittlebug. Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station Research Bulletin 741.
  62. Williams, M. R. 2015. Cotton insect losses—2014. Pp. 494–506. Proceedings, Beltwide Cotton Production Research Conferences, 5–7 January 2006, San Antonio, TX. National Cotton Council of America,Memphis, TN.
  63. Young,W. R., and Teetes, G. L. 1977. Sorghum entomology. Annual Review of Entomology 22:193–218.