Survey of nematodes associated with terrestrial slugs in theWestern Cape Province of South Africa


Abstract: A survey of slug-parasitic nematodes was conducted in the Western Cape Province ofSouth Africa, in order to gather new data regarding diversity and distribution. 521 slugs werecollected from 35 sample sites throughout the Western Cape. Slugs were dissected and examinedfor the presence of slug-parasitic nematodes. Extracted nematodes were identified usingmolecular (18S rRNA gene sequencing) and morphological techniques. Nematodes were foundparasitizing slugs at 40% of sample sites and 6% of slugs were infected with nematodes. A totalof seven species of nematode were identified in the province including; Agfa flexilis, Angiostomasp., Phasmarhabditis sp. SA1, Phasmarhabditis sp. SA2, Caenorhabditis elegans, panagrolaimidsp. and Rhabditis sp. Of these species, four were slug-parasitic nematodes (A. flexilis,Angiostoma sp., Phasmarhabditis sp. SA1 and Phasmarhabditis sp. SA2), as opposed tonematodes that form necromenic or phoretic associations. Three new species of slug-parasiticnematode were identified during this study (Angiostoma sp. (named as Angiostoma margaretae),Phasmarhabditis sp. SA1 and Phasmarhabditis sp. SA2).

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