Diversity and distribution of nematodes associated with bark beetles in Israel.
Bark beetles (Curculionidae: Scolytinae) have a significant economic impact on forest stands and agricultural settings in Israel. We focus on nematodes associated with bark beetles collected from different host plants attacked by Scolytinae. The sampling was conducted in forest plantations and fruit tree orchards in several areas in Israel. A total of 430 beetle specimens of eight species were examined for the presence of nematodes. Fifteen nematode species were detected and identified based on molecular and morphological characteristics. Among the examined scolytids, the pine bark beetle, Orthotomicus erosus, the most widely distributed and frequently occurring species in Israel, was accompanied by the highest nematode diversity, with 11 species recovered. Nematode associations with the almond bark beetle (Scolytus amygdali), the olive bark beetle (Phloeotribus scarabaeoides) and the fig bark beetle (Hypoborus ficus) were recorded for the first time. Our study thus supplies novel information on scolytid-associated nematodes in Israel.