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Steinernema bertusi n. sp. (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae), a new entomopathogenic nematode from South Africa

Katumanyane, Agil, Malan, Antoinette P., Tiedt, Louwrens R., Hurley, Brett P.
Steinernema, entomopathogenic nematodes, females, juveniles, male reproductive system, males, new species, vulva, South Africa
Two isolates of Steinernema bertusi n. sp. were separately recovered from Tito, Mpumalanga, and Port Edward, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa. In this paper, we describe the isolates as a new entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) species using molecular and morphological methodologies. The new species belongs to the cameroonense-clade, which consists of nematodes only isolated from the African continent. Steinernema bertusi n. sp. is characterised by having the longest infective juvenile (IJ) for this clade at 716 (628-814) μm. The IJ is further characterised by a body diam. of 32 (28-36) μm and the pattern for the arrangement of the lateral ridges from head to tail is 2, 4, 5, 4, 2. The first-generation male spicule and gubernaculum length is 82 (72-88) μm and 63 (54-72) μm, respectively. Only 25% of the second-generation males possess a mucron. The first-generation females of S. bertusi n. sp. have a slightly protruding vulva, with double-flapped epiptygmata and a mucron at the posterior end. The new EPN species is most closely related to S. sacchari and is the sixth species to be included in the cameroonense-clade.