Hemicycliophora arenaria




Rev 01/11/2024

 Sheath Nematode Classification Hosts
Morphology and Anatomy Life Cycle
Return to Hemicycliophora Menu Economic Importance Damage
Distribution Management
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 Hemicycliophora arenaria Raski, 1958

Hemicycliophora arenaria was described by Raski (UC Davis), extensively researched by Van Gundy (UC Riverside).

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Morphology and Anatomy:



Female and all juvenile stages have sheath; also sloping stylet knobs.

Males are rare, have degenerate esophagus and no stylet or sheath. 



Reported median body size for this species (Length mm; width micrometers; weight micrograms) - Click:

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First reported from the Coachella Valley of California on rough lemon rootstock (Citrus jambhiri).

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Economic Importance:

A-rated pest in California Nematode Pest Rating System.

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True ectoparasites.  

Second and third juvenile stages must feed to develop.  

Males have no stylet and do not feed.

Feeding Mechanism: stylet is inserted 2-3 cells deep - through and between cells.  Dorsal esophageal gland secretions pass into food cell during 1-2 hour quiescent period; then cell contents are withdrawn over period of 2-6 days during which there is regular pumping of median bulb.

The nematode has a feeding tube similar to Trichodorus (adhesive
polysaccharide tube) which becomes firmly attached to root, and nematode has to writhe and twist to detach.  Nematodes may appear as a fringe around root tip.  

Nurse cells increase in volume, and walls thicken; some cells are multinucleate.  Cells collapse when depleted and are pushed to the surface by meristem activity, thus providing a continuous supply of new food cells for the nematode.  

Root-tip galls are formed by increase in cell divisions (hyperplasia), giving rise to enlarged cortex.

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Citrus, tomato, beans, celery, squash, pepper, and Tokay grape.

Also Hymenoclea salsola (cheesebush) and coyote melon (Cucurbita palmata) on virgin desert soil.  

Non-host crops include "Thompson Seedless" grape, cotton, and corn.  

Resistant rootstocks include trifoliate orange, sweet orange, sour orange, and Marsh grapefruit.

For an extensive host range list for this species, click


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Life Cycle:

Ecophysiological Parameters:

For Ecophysiological Parameters for this species, click If species level data are not available, click for genus level parameters
  1. Life cycle consists of 4 molts, the first occurring within the egg.
  2. A period of feeding is necessary between each subsequent molt.
  3. Sexual differentiation occurs after the third molt.  Fourth stage and adult are persistent stages for females; adult males have no stylet, do not feed, and are not persistent.
  4. Adult female produces a sixth cuticle, so that it is ensheathed with two cuticles throughout its entire life.
  5. Life cycle from egg to egg requires 15 to 19 days at 28 to 30 C on tomato.
  6. Females can lay approximately 1 egg per hour in water.
  7. Egg hatch occurs in 3 to 5 days.
  8. Esophagus is degenerate in male juveniles.
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Greenhouse tests - 36% growth reduction in citrus and 28% in tomato.

Damage and symptoms of H. arenaria on rough lemon seedling (left); healthy seedling on right.
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Use trifoliate orange rootstocks in citrus.

Methyl bromide applied at rate of 200lb/acre eradicates nematodes to soil depth of 3 ft.

DBCP was used at rate of 2 to 4 gal/acre in 6 inches of water to kill 98.7 to 100% of the nematodes in the top 5 ft. of soil.  

Hot water treatment of bare-root trees (10 min. at 46 C.) effective. 

Hemicycliophora arenaria is sensitive to reduced aeration, and mortality periods are associated with irrigation.  Fewer nematodes are observed in summer when more water is applied; higher summer temperatures may also reduce numbers, although nematode is able to flourish at 30 C. 
Van Gundy and students observed that frequent irrigation (saturated soil conditions) kept populations at lower levels. (Cooper et al., 1970)

Note: In 1992, attempts to find H. arenaria in the Coachella  grapefruit orchard in which Van Gundy worked have been unsuccessful. There have been annual applications of the nematicide Nemacur (phenamiphos) to the orchard.

Host Plant Resistance, Non-hosts and Crop Rotation alternatives:

For plants reported to have some level of resistance to this species, click

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Cooper, A.F. Jr. Van Gundy, S.D., Stolzy, L.H. 1970. Nematode reproduction in environments of fluctuating aeration. J. Nematology 2: 182-188.

Van Gundy, S.D. 1957 The first report of a species of Hemicycliophora attacking citrus roots. Plent Disease Reporter 41:1016-1018.

Van Gundy, S.D. 1959. The life history of Hemicycliophora arenaria Raski (Nematoda: Criconematidae). Proc. Helminthol. Soc. Washington 26:67-72.

Van Gundy, S.D. and S.D. McElroy 1969. Sheath nematode: its biology and control. Proc. 1st  Int. Citrus Symp. 2:985-989.


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Copyright © 1999 by Howard Ferris.
Revised: January 11, 2024.