Mesoanguina picridis




Rev 01/31/2023

  Classification Hosts
Morphology and Anatomy Life Cycle
Return to Mesoanguina Menu Economic Importance Damage
Distribution Management
Return to Anguinidae Menu Feeding  References
    Go to Nemaplex Main Menu   Go to Dictionary of Terminology




          Mesoanguina picridis (Kirjanova, 1944) Chizhov & Subbotin, 1985
Knapweed Nematode
      Paranguina picridis (Kirjanova, 1944) Kirjanova and Ivanova, 1968

Mesoanguina picridis (Kirjanova, 1944) Brzeski, 1981

     Anguina picridis 

Back to Top

Morphology and Anatomy:





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


Back to Top


Reported from Russia.


Back to Top

Economic Importance:

Russian knapweed is an invasive species in North America, introduced as a contaminant in the 1900s. Inoculation experiments in Russia demonstrated considerable damage to knapweed.

Nematodes imported from Russia were released in Canada for biological control of Russian knapweed, Acroptilon repens (Watson, 1986b). 


Back to Top


Forms galls on stems, leaves and root collar of Russian knapweed, Acroptilon repens, which is considered a noxious weed in Canada and the United States.  The induced galls contain nutritive cells on which the nematode feeds.

The nematode has been investigated for its potential as a biological control agent of Russian knapweed (Watson 1986a,b).  Infection of knapweed reduces plant growth and seed production.

Back to Top


Russian knapweed is the major host. Diffuse knapweed (Centaurea diffusa Lam.) is moderately susceptible.  Galls form on some other plants in the Asteraceae but since reproduction of the nematode did not occur, they are considered resistant to S. picridis (Watson, 1986a).

For an extensive host range list for this species, click

Back to Top

Life Cycle:

Second-stage juveniles, the infective stage, of S. picridis go into a state of quiescence (cryptobiosis) induced by dehydration when the host plant senesces at the end of the growing season.

Ecophysiological Parameters:

For Ecophysiological Parameters for this species, click If species level data are not available, click for genus level parameters
Back to Top


In Canadian studies, consistent gall formation was obtained only when Russian knapweed was grown in a relatively cool, moist, nutrient poor environment in whuch the host plant grew slowly. .Juveniles were unable to induce gall formation on their hosts until a period of time, about one month,  had elapsed after being revived from the cryptobiotic state (Watson, 1986b).

Back to Top


Subanguina picridis was released at three locations in Canada in the 1980s as a potential biological control agent of Russian knapweed.

Note that similar experiments have been conducted with Ditylenchus [Nothanguina] (=Orrina)] phyllobia for biological control of silverleaf nightshade and Mesoanguina amsinckiae for biological control of fiddleneck, Amsinckia intermedia.

Nematodes  were encapsulated in calcium alginate granules and dried after coating with a unique inverting oil followed by an oil absorbent. Fewer than 50% of the nematodes survived for 1 month when coated or uncoated whole galls were stored at 4 or −20°C, with viability declining rapidly thereafter. Nematodes extracted from galls and formulated in calcium alginate survived in dry granules for up to 9 months at −20°C with no significant loss of infectivity (Caesartonthat et al., 1993).



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

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


Back to Top


Caesartonthat, T.C., Dyer, W.E., Quimby, P.C., Rosenthal, S.S. 1995. Formulation of an Endoparasitic Nematode, Mesoanguina picridis Brzeski, a Biological Control Agent for Russian Knapweed, Acroptilon repens (L.)DC. Biocontrol 5:262-288.


Chizhov, V.N. & Subbotin, S.A. 1985. [Revision of the nematode from the subfamily Anguininae (Nematoda, Tylenchida) on the basis of their biological characteristics]. Zoologichesky Zhurnal 64: 1476- 1486 (in Russian).

Watson, A. K. 1986a. Host range of, and plant reaction to, Mesoanguina picridis. Journal of Nematology 18:112-120.

Watson, A. K. 1986b. Biology of Mesoanguina picridis, a potential biological control agent of Russian knapweed. Journal of Nematology 18:149-154.


Back to Top

Copyright © 1999 by Howard Ferris.
Revised: January 31, 2023.