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Indian Journal of Nematology
Year : 1981, Volume : 11, Issue : 1
First page : ( 131) Last page : ( 131)
Print ISSN : 0303-6960.

The predatory behaviour of Mononchus aquaticus

Ahmad Irfan

Section of Nematology, Department of Zoology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh-202001.

Presented at Nematology Symposium held at Coimbatore, India in February, 1981


The predatory behaviour of Mononchus aquaticus Coetzee, 1968 was studied in agar plotes. Observations were made on the prey catching mechanism, attraction towards prey, predation rate, prey selection and the effect of isolation of predator on predation.

The results indicated that M. aquaticus was not attracted towards prey species and contact with prey was necessary to initiate an attack. Once caught, the prey was pulled backwards as a result of a sharp withdrawl of the predator. Small pley were usually swallowed whole but only the internal parts were sucked of the larger ones. The rate of predation varied with the type of prey available and of the five species used, Cephalobus sp. was preyed on most and Prismatolaimus sp. the least. Aglenchus parvus, Chiloplacus symmetricus and Mesorhabditis sp. represented prey of intermediate grouping. Predation of these nematodes seemed to be related to their activity suggesting that the less active species were more vulnerable to attack than the more active ones. The pattern of predation in a mixed population indicated some degree of selection. Prey numbers and the isolation of predators did not significantly influence the rate of predation.


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