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Nematodes

Updated: Apr 6


Nematoda includes the largest population of animals on earth, with an estimated million unclassified species. Descriptively, they are worm like, unsegmented organisms, with specialised respiratory and circulatory systems, all contained within a rounded body and protected by a rigid outer cuticle, to which the entrance point is the mouth, and the exit point is the anus. Nematodes may occur in nearly all environments all over the world, and may parasitize nearly all plants and animals. They are often regarded as a horticultural pest. For instance, Citrus nematodes which attack the plant roots, have been reported to cause 30-50% crop reduction in lemons and oranges. However, they are also widely used as a biological pest control, commonly on sawfly, vine weevil, chafer grubs, and slugs.

Breeding may occur hermaphroditically or parthenogenetically, resulting in a 6-instar life cycle: the egg including initial juvenile stage; four juvenile stages; finally becoming a fully grown adult. Nematodes lack jointed appendages and so swim or creep along through a serious of neuromuscular contractions which one could describe as flagella like.


Image: The cultivation of the nematodes Panagrellus, Turbatrix (Anguillula) and Rhabditis for using in fish feeding DO - 10.15407/fsu2019.02.016




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