NOTES ON TAXONOMY AND BIOLOGY: Female M. africana have an oval cuticular perineal pattern similar to that of M. arenaria. It has a low dorsal arch and lack prominent lateral lines. No shoulders are present. This root-knot nematode has sedentary endoparasitic habits. Second-stage juveniles (J2) in the soil penetrate host roots where they establish a specialized feeding site (giant cells) in the stele. As J2 develop, they cause root swellings and become swollen females. Females rupture root cortex and some time protrude with the egg masses from the root surface. J2 emerge from the egg masses and migrate in the soil (Whitehead, 1960).
GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION: This root-knot nematode is a tropical or subtropical species reported in India, Kenya, and Zaire (Campos et al., 1990; Sikora and Greco, 1990; Swarup and Sosa-Moss, 1990).
HOSTS: The host range of this species includes: coffee (Coffea arabica), corn (Zea mays), and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata).
CROP LOSSES: Decline of coffee, cowpea, and sugarcane has been associated with this pest. No quantification of nematode damage has been reported.
MEANS OF MOVEMENT AND DISPERSAL: Through root material, soil debris and by infected bare root propagative plant material.
RATING: (VL) Taking into consideration the limited information on economic damage, the limited distribution of this nematode, and the low chances of its introduction in the US, the risk posed by this root-knot nematode to the United States is rated very low.
Campos, V. P., P. Sivapalan, and N. C. Gnanapragasam 1990. Nematode parasites of coffee, cocoa and tea. Pp. 387-430 in M. Luc, R. A. Sikora, and J. Bridge eds. Plant parasitic nematodes in tropical and subtropical agriculture. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.
Sikora, R. A., and N. Greco. 1990. Nematode parasites of food legumes. Pp. 181-235 in M. Luc, R. A. Sikora, and J. Bridge eds. Plant parasitic nematodes in tropical and subtropical agriculture. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.
Swarup, G., and C. Sosa-Moss. 1990. Nematode parasites of cereals. Pp. 109-136 in M. Luc, R. A. Sikora, and J. Bridge eds. Plant parasitic nematodes in tropical and subtropical agriculture. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.
Whitehead, A. G. 1968. Taxonomy of Meloidogyne (Nematoda: Heteroderidae) with descriptions of four new species. Transaction of the Zoological Society of London 31:263-401.