The woodwasp, Sirex nigricornis (Hymenoptera: Siricidae), is solitary and utilizes a symbiotic fungus to extract nourishment from pine trees to feed its larvae. The woodwasp has a brief adult life, but the larvae develop for 1–3 years in the tree xylem. Infections with the nematode Deladenus proximus have been documented in the native woodwasp, S. nigricornis in the eastern United States and Canada. These nematodes appear to sterilize female woodwasps; however, the extent of the pathology and other aspects of the biology of D. proximus remain unknown. In this study we examined the effects of D. proximus on S. nigricornis using fresh – not preserved – specimens. Between 2009 and 2012, a total of 1639 woodwasps were examined for internal nematodes from emerging sites in Illinois, Louisiana and South Carolina. From this total, only 112 individuals were infected with the nematode D. proximus, with varying prevalence across localities and years. Nematodes were found inside every egg of infected females, as well as the hemocoel and the mycangia. Morphometric analyses of mycetophagous reared adult nematodes suggest that a single species is present in localities from Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, New York and South Carolina. The screening of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) of these organisms is consistent with this pattern in that all of these individuals belong to a single clade. Deladenus proximus appears to be an efficient sterilizer, yet its prevalence is relatively low. Experimental infections of the invasive Sirex noctilio are recommended to test the viability of using this nematode as a biological control agent.
Zieman, Elliott A., Reeve, John, Braswell, Warren E. and Jimenez-Ruiz, Agustin. "Pathology, Distribution, Morphological and Genetic Identity of Deladenus proximus (Tylenchida: Neotylenchidae) a Parasitic Nematode of the Woodwasp, Sirex nigricornis in the Eastern United States." Biological Control 87 (Aug 2015): 14-22. doi:10.1016/j.biocontrol.2015.04.009.