Steinernema costaricense n. sp. and S. puntauvense n. sp. were recovered during a survey for native entomopathogenic nematodes in Costa Rica. Morphological data, molecular (28S rDNA sequence data) studies and cross-hybridisation tests were used for diagnostic and identification purposes. Additionally, 28S rDNA sequence data were used to assess the evolutionary relationships of the new species with other Steinernema spp. Morphological diagnostic features for S. costaricense n. sp. include: the body size of the infective juvenile (av. 1,696); the presence of protruding 'horn-like' cephalic papillae; the position of the excretory pore in the infective juvenile (av. 77 μm) and the first generation male (av. 117 μm); the D% value of the infective juvenile (av. 53) and the first generation male (av. 56); the E% value of the infective juvenile (av. 85); and the morphology of the spicules and gubernaculum of the first generation male. Diagnostic traits for S. puntauvense n. sp. are: the position of the excretory pore in the infective juveniles (av. 25 μm); the shape and size of the spicules and gubernaculum of the first generation male; and the shape of the tail of the first generation female. In addition to these traits, 28S rDNA sequences analysis and hybridisation tests showed that both new Steinernema species are distinct and unique entities.
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