Heterorhabditis sonorensis n. sp. (Nematoda: Heterorhabditidae), a natural pathogen of the seasonal cicada Diceroprocta ornea (Walker) (Homoptera: Cicadidae) in the Sonoran desert

S. Patricia Stock, Benjamin Rivera-Orduño, Yolanda Flores-Lara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations


A new Heterorhabditis species was isolated from nymphal stages of the seasonal cicada Diceroprocta ornea (Walker) in an asparagus field in the state of Sonora, Mexico. Concomitantly, another isolate of the same nematode species was also collected from an oak woodland habitat in the Chiricahua mountain range in southeastern Arizona. Morphological and molecular studies together with cross-hybridization tests indicate these two isolates are conspecific and represent a new undescribed Heterorhabditis sp. This new species is distinguished from other species in this genus by a combination of several qualitative and quantitative morphological traits. Key diagnostic features include: presence of a pronounced post-anal swelling in the hermaphrodite; male with nine pairs of bursal rays, with pairs 4 and 7 bent outwards and one pair of papillae placed on the cloacal opening, value of D% (average: 79); infective juveniles with a well developed cuticular tooth, long tail (average: 105 μm) and values of D% (average: 90) and E% (average: 99). In addition to these diagnostic characters, cross-hybridization tests between the new species with H. bacteriophora and H. mexicana yielded no fertile progeny. Comparison of ITS rDNA sequences with other available sequences of described species depicted the two isolates as a new species. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequence data placed H. sonorensis n. sp. as a member of the indica-group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Invertebrate Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009



  • Arizona
  • Heterorhabditis sonorensis n. sp. - cicada - asparagus - oak woodlands
  • Sonora

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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