Nematode of the Week

Belonolaimus sp. (Sting Nematode)

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This week's featured nematode was recovered from corn fields located in Greeley County, Nebraska. It is found in extremely sandy soils and may be an undescribed species.
Allen Szalanski

Belonolaimus Steiner, 1949
                  Belonolaiminae. SEM face view shows a well marked, rounded labial disc, and first lip
                  annulus divided into six sectors, lateral sectors almost completely regressed, seen only
                  as small interruptions of the first one or two labial annuli. Labial region marked by deep
                  longitudinal grooves. Stylet very long, 60-150 um long, its cone 70-80% of total stylet
                  length. Corpus as in Morulaimus. Oesophageal glands overlapping beginning of
                  intestine. Female tail cylindroid with a broadly rounded terminus. Lateral field with four
                  lines or less. 

  • Damage to Corn.  Belonolaimus species are extremely damaging to corn. Numbers as low as 1- 10 per 100 CC of soil can cause damage to corn seedlings.
  • Biology. There are at least two Belonolaimus species  that feed on corn roots in North America. All are large nematodes (between 1.0 3.0 mm) possessing a characteristic long, slender stylet. 
  • Ecology. Sting nematodes are restricted to very sandy soils.  In the north central states they become active as soon as soils become warm. As the season progresses, they appear to migrate deeper into the soil profile. 
  • Symptoms. Sting nematodes severely trim the lateral roots of corn seedlings.  Stunted plants occur in patches throughout a field. 
  • Damage to other crops. Sting nematodes have a wide host range including soybeans, wheat, peanuts, beans, and other crop plants. 
  • Control. Rotation with alfalfa has been successful. Chemical nematicides have been successful in reducing sting numbers. 
  • References. 
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