Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Punctodera punctata
(grass cyst nematode)



Punctodera punctata (grass cyst nematode)


  • Last modified
  • 30 January 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Punctodera punctata
  • Preferred Common Name
  • grass cyst nematode
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Nematoda
  •       Class: Secernentea
  •         Order: Tylenchida

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Scanning electron micrograph of surface pattern of P. punctata cyst.
TitleSurface pattern of cyst
CaptionScanning electron micrograph of surface pattern of P. punctata cyst.
CopyrightW.M. Wouts
Scanning electron micrograph of surface pattern of P. punctata cyst.
Surface pattern of cystScanning electron micrograph of surface pattern of P. punctata cyst.W.M. Wouts


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Punctodera punctata (Thorne, 1928) Mulvey & Stone, 1976

Preferred Common Name

  • grass cyst nematode

Other Scientific Names

  • Heterodera punctata Thorne, 1928

International Common Names

  • English: grass cyst eelworm
  • Spanish: nematodo de las gramineas

Local Common Names

  • Denmark: græscystenematod
  • Germany: Aelchen, Gewoehnliches Graeserzysten-; Nematode, Gewoehnlicher Graeserzysten-
  • Netherlands: grassencystenaaltje
  • Norway: grascystenematode
  • Sweden: gräscystnematod

EPPO code

  • HETDPU (Punctodera punctata)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Nematoda
  •             Class: Secernentea
  •                 Order: Tylenchida
  •                     Family: Heteroderidae
  •                         Genus: Punctodera
  •                             Species: Punctodera punctata

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


IsraelPresentHorne and Thames, 1966
JapanPresentHorne and Thames, 1966


MoroccoPresentHorne and Thames, 1966

North America

CanadaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlbertaPresentMulvey and Stone, 1976
-British ColumbiaPresentMulvey and Stone, 1976
-ManitobaPresentMulvey and Stone, 1976
-Newfoundland and LabradorPresentMulvey and Stone, 1976
-OntarioPresentMulvey and Stone, 1976
-QuebecPresentMulvey and Stone, 1976
-SaskatchewanPresentThorne, 1928
MexicoPresentHorne and Thames, 1966
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-MichiganPresentBrzeski et al., 1971
-MinnesotaPresentHorne and Thames, 1966
-New JerseyPresentRadice et al., 1985
-North DakotaPresentChitwood, 1949
-South DakotaPresentTHORNE and MALEK, 1968
-TexasPresentHorne and Thames, 1966

South America

ArgentinaPresentHorne and Thames, 1966
ChilePresentHorne and Thames, 1966


AustriaPresentHorne and Thames, 1966
BelgiumPresentHorne and Thames, 1966
Czechoslovakia (former)PresentHorne and Thames, 1966
DenmarkPresent, few occurrencesHorne and Thames, 1966; DCA - Nationalt Center for Fødevarer og Jordbrug, Denmark, 2018
EstoniaPresentSabo et al., 2002
FinlandPresentHorne and Thames, 1966
FrancePresentHorne and Thames, 1966
GermanyPresentHorne and Thames, 1966
GreecePresentHopper, 1964
IcelandPresentHorne and Thames, 1966
IrelandPresentHorne and Thames, 1966
ItalyPresentHorne and Thames, 1966
LatviaPresentSolov'eva and Vasil'eva, 1973
NetherlandsPresentOostenbrink, 1960
NorwayPresentHorne and Thames, 1966
PolandPresentHorne and Thames, 1966
PortugalPresentHorne and Thames, 1966
Russian FederationPresentWebley and Lewis, 1977
-Russia (Europe)PresentChizhov and Indekh, 1980
SloveniaPresentHrzic and Urek, 1990
SpainPresentCastillo et al., 1989
SwedenPresentHorne and Thames, 1966
SwitzerlandPresentHorne and Thames, 1966
UKPresentFranklin, 1938
UkrainePresentSolov'eva and Vasil'eva, 1973; Nikitin, 1983
Yugoslavia (former)PresentHrzic and Urek, 1988

Growth Stages

Top of page Vegetative growing stage

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Roots / cysts on root surface

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Bulbs/Tubers/Corms/Rhizomes adults; cysts; juveniles Yes Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
Growing medium accompanying plants adults; cysts; juveniles Yes Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
Roots adults; cysts; juveniles Yes Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants adults; cysts; juveniles Yes Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Fruits (inc. pods)
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches
True seeds (inc. grain)


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Baker AD, 1945. Records of plant parasitic nematodes in the Dominion of Canada. Canadian Insect Pest Review, 23:141-153

Baker AD, 1957. Notes on some nematodes in Canada. Canadian Insect Pest Review, 34:120-122

Baldwin JG, Schouest LPJr, 1990. Comparative detailed morphology of the Heteroderinae Filip'ev & Schuurmans Stekhoven, 1941, sensu Luc et al (1988): phylogenetic systematics and revised classification. Systematic Parasitology, 15(2):81-106; 56 ref

Brzeski MW, Laughlin CW, Vargas JM, McCallum DK, Hanna MK, 1971. Occurrence of cyst nematodes (Heterodera) in Michigan. Plant Disease Reporter, 55:399

Castillo P, Romero MD, Barcina AGomez-, 1989. New record of Punctodera punctata from Spain. Nematologia Mediterranea, 17(2):67-70; 4 ref

Chitwood BG, 1949. Cyst-forming Heterodera encountered in soil sampling. Plant Disease Reporter, 33:130-131

Chizhov VN, Indekh SB, 1980. The cyst-forming nematode, Punctodera punctata, in the Moscow region. Byulleten' Vsesoyuznogo Instituta Gel'mintologii im. K.I. Skryabina (Fitogel'mintologiya), No. 26:96-98

Coomans A, 1979. General principles of systematics with particular reference to speciation. In: Lamberti F, Taylor CE, eds. Root-Knot Nematodes (Meloidogyne species): Systematics, Biology and Control. London, UK: Academic Press, 1-19

DCA - Nationalt Center for Fødevarer og Jordbrug, Denmark, 2018. Update of pest status in Denmark for specific harmful organisms in relation to export of seeds - part 1. (Opdatering af skadegørerstatus i Danmark for specifikke skadegørere i relation til eksport af frø - del 1). Tjele, Denmark: DCA - Nationalt Center for Fødevarer og Jordbrug, Aarhus University.51 pp.

Den Ouden H, 1960. Periodicity in spontaneous hatching of Heterodera rostochiensis in the soil. Nematologica, Supplement II:101

Franklin MT, 1938. On the occurrence of Heterodera cysts in various soils and on the roots of Agrostis stolonifera L. Journal of Helminthology, 16:5-16

Franklin MT, 1951. Cyst-forming Species of Heterodera. Wallingford, UK: CAB International

Hopper BE, 1964. Some records of known and suspected plant-parasitic nematodes encountered in Canada in 1963. Canadian Plant Disease Survey, 44:120-125

Horne CW, Thames WH, 1966. Notes on the occurrence and distribution of Heterodera punctata. Plant Disease Reporter, 50:869-871

Hrzic A, Urek G, 1988. The extent of spreading of cyst forming nematodes of the Heteroderidae family. Zbornik Biotechnis^hacek~ke Fakultete Univerze Edvarda Kardelja v Ljubljani, Kmetijstvo, 43(51):271-179; 3 ref

Hrzic A, Urek G, 1990. Study of nematopopulations found in arable land in Slovenia. Zbornik Biotehnis^hacek~ke Fakultete Universze v Ljubljani, Kmetijstvo, No. 55:97-102; 5 ref

Krall' EL, Krall' KhA, 1978. Revision of the plant nematodes of the family Heteroderidae on the basis of the trophic specialization of these parasites and their co-evolution with their host plants. Fitogel'mintologicheskie issledovaniya. "Nauka". Moscow USSR, 39-56

Luc M, Maggenti AR, Fortuner R, 1988. A reappraisal of Tylenchina (Nemata). 9. The family Heteroderidae Filip'ev & Schuurmans Stekhoven, 1941. Revue de Nématologie, 11(2):159-176

Luc M, Taylor D, Cadet P, 1978. Description of new tropical Heteroderidae, Hylonemaivorensis n. gen, n. sp. and a new outlook of the family Heteroderidae (Nematoda: Tylenchida). Revue de Nématologie, 1:73-86

Magnusson C, Hammeraas B, 1997. Nematodes in sports fields. (Nematoder i sportfält.) Växtskyddsnotiser, 61(4):121-132

Mulvey RH, Stone AR, 1976. Description of Punctodera matadorensis n.gen., n.sp. (Nematoda: Heteroderidae) from Saskatchewan with lists of species and generic diagnoses of Globodera (n. rank), Heterodera, and Sarisodera. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 54(5):772-785

Nikitin VS, 1983. Cyst nematodes on cereal crops. Zakhistm Roslin, Respublikans'kii Mizhvidomchii Tematichnii Naukovii Zbirnik, 30:56-59

Oostenbrink M, 1960. The genus Heterodera. In: Sasser JN, Jenkins WR, eds. Nematology. Chapel Hill, USA: University of North Carolina Press, 206-211

Othman AA, Baldwin JG, Mundo-Ocampo M, 1988. Comparative morphology of Globodera, Cactodera, and Punctodera spp. (Heteroderidae) with scanning electron microscopy. Revue de Nematologie, 11:53-63

Radice AD, Halisky PM, Meyers RF, 1985. Studies on the host range, biology, and pathogenicity of Punctodera punctata infecting turfgrasses. Journal of Nematology, 17:162-165

Radice AD, Halisky PM, Myers RF, 1984. Distribution and dissemination of Punctodera punctata on turfgrasses in New Jersey. Plant Disease, 68(3):256-257

Sabo A, Reis LGL, Krall E, Mundo-Ocampo M, Ferris VR, 2002. Phylogenetic relationships of a distinct species of Globodera from Portugal and two Punctodera species. Journal of Nematology, 34(3):263-266

Seinhorst JW, 1985. The development of individuals and populations of cyst nematodes on plants. In: Lamberti F, Taylor CE, eds. Cyst Nematodes. NATO ASI Series A(121). New York, USA: Plenum Press, 101-117

Siddiqi MR, 1986. Tylenchida: parasites of plants and insects. Farnham Royal, UK: CAB International, (ix)+ 646pp

Skarbilovich TS, 1947. Revision of the systematics of the family Anguillulinidae Baylis and Daubney, 1962. Dokladi Akademii Nauk SSSR, 57:307-308

Solov'eva GI, Vasil'eva AP, 1973. Heterodera punctata, a parasite of wild grasses in southern Karelia. Parazitologiya, 7(6):521-525

Stone AR, Sosa Moss C, Mulvey RH, 1976. Punctodera chalcoensis n.sp. (Nematoda: Heteroderidae) a cyst nematode from Mexico parasitising Zea mays. Nematologica, 22(4):381-389

Thorne G, 1928. Heterodera punctata n. sp. a nematode parasite on wheat roots from Saskatchewan. Scientific Agriculture, 8:707-711

THORNE G, MALEK RB, 1968. Nematodes of the northern Great Plains. Part I. Tylenchida (Nemata: Secernentea). Tech. Bull. S. Dak. agrie. Exp. Stn, 31. 111 pp

Turner SJ, Rowe JA, 2006. Cyst nematodes. In: Plant nematology [ed. by Perry RN, Moens M] Wallingford, UK: CABI, 91-122

Vasil'eva AP, Solov'eva GI, 1978. The effect of fertilizers on the cyst-forming nematodes, parasites of meadow grasses. Problemy pochvennoi zoologii "Nauka i Tekhnika" Minsk USSR, 49-50

Webley D, Lewis S, 1977. Punctodera punctata. CIH Descriptions of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Set 7, No. 102. Wallingford, UK: CAB International

Wouts WM, 1985. Phylogenetic classification of the family Heteroderidae (Nematoda: Tylenchida). Systematic Parasitology, 7:295-328

Wouts WM, Weischer B, 1977. Eine Klassifizierung von fuenfzehn in Westeuropa haeufigen Arten der Heteroderinae auf Grund von Larvenmerkmalen. Nematologica, 25:289-310

Wouts WM, Weischer B, Triggs CM, 1986. On the identity of European populations of Punctodera punctata (Nematoda: Heteroderidae). Nematologica, 32:79-88

Distribution Maps

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