Under the name “Nemamax®” the nematode Heterorhabditis downesi will be available at the Sautter & Stepper GmbH from spring 2020 as new opponent of cutworms and a lot of different grubs.
This nematode is an excellent addition to its conspecifics Steinernema feltiae, Steinernema kraussei and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. Like the conspecifics it transmits a bacterium (Photorhabdus temp.) which is transferred while invading and feeding on the larvae leading to its death. A big advantage of H. downesi is that similar to Steinernema kraussei it is already active at around eight degrees. The activity, however, maintains at increasing soil temperatures like Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. The perfect reproduction condition is between 15 to 25 degrees soil temperatures.
The application range of Heterorhabditis downesi is for a nematode very large. The host range includes not only the weevil larvae Otiorhynchus spp., but also pine weevil (Hylobius abietis) and other chafer grubs like Phyllopertha horticola, Hoplia philanthus and Melolontha melolontha. Even the cutworms Agrotis spp. and Spodoptera spp. are not spared.
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