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Jaime Molina-Ochoa*, Eva Judith Hueso-Guerrero, Roberto Lezama-Gutiérrez, Javier Farías-Larios, Francisco Radillo-Juárez, Abraham García-Berbe, and Jalil Fallad-Chávez

The agave weevil (Scyphophorus acupunctatus Gyllenhal) (AW) is widely distributed and is severe pest of plants in the Order Liliales, Familiy Agavaceae, such as Agave tequilana, A. fourcroydes, A. sisalana, A. sp., Polianthes tuberosa, and Yucca sp. Some of these species have importance as ornamental, medicinal, fragrant essence, and raw fiber. AW is controlled with insecticides, but insecticides are unable to reach the larvae in the galleries where the larvae borrows the agave crowns. Galleries are cryptic habitats where the entomopathogenic nematodes are able to infect instars of the AW. Recently, Hueso-Guerrero, and Molina-Ochoa (2004) reported the occurrence of native steinernematid nematodes naturally infecting the AW larvae. Virulence of isolates and strains of steinernematid and heterorhabditid nematodes against AW larvae was determined under laboratory conditions. Three native steinernematid isolates obtained from naturally infected AW larvae (A1, A2, and A3) were bioassayed a concentration of 100 nematodes/mL and petri dish (60 × 10 mm) arenas. Native isolates were isolated from AW larvae attacking agave crowns. Other strains evaluated were: S. carpocapsae All and Mexican, S. riobrave, and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora NC2. Native steinernematid isolates caused 100% mortality, however exotic strains caused mortality ranges between 90%, and 40%. Steinernema carpocapsae All strain, S. riobrave, H. bacteriophora NC2, and S. carpocapsae Mexican strains caused 90%, 60%, 50%, and 40% mortality, respectively. Results suggest that native steinernematid isolates, and S. carpocapsae All strain have potential as biological control agents against the AW weevil.