Natural occurrence of Steinernema carpocapsae, Weiser, 1955 (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae) in Belgian turf and its virulence to Spodoptera exigua (Lepodoptera: Noctuidae).
During a routine survey for the white grub, Hoplia philanthus Füessly (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae), in turf fields, we isolated entomopathogenic nematodes from one out of 40 soil samples. The morphology and morphometrics identified the isolate as Steinernema carpocapsae. The ITS-rDNA sequence confirmed the identification. This is the first report of S. carpocapsae from Belgium. In laboratory assays the isolate demonstrated a virulence to Spodoptera exigua Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) comparable to two commercial strains and two other strains kept in laboratories. All tested isolates including the Belgian strain caused high mortality to S. exigua larvae.