Mesocriconema curvatum




Rev 12/99

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Morphology and Anatomy Life Cycle
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Mesocriconema curvatum (Raski, 1952) de Grisse & Loof, 1965    


      Criconemoides curvatum Raski, 1952

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Morphology and Anatomy:

Female: Body stout, slightly curved ventrally; tapering slightly toward both extremities.

Annules with smooth posterior margins and generally without anastomoses.

Head not offset. Labial disc distinctly lower than in Mesocriconema xenoplax; more or less rectangular with slit-like amphid apertures along its lateral margins. Four well-developed, separate submedian lobes with rounded anterior margins. First annule broken up into labial plates, often irregularly; second annule transverse; third and following annules retrorse.

Spear typical for genus, its length (56-70 µm), about 25 times the width of shaft.

Excretory pore near base of esophagus.

Hemizonid one annule long, often indistinct, located one to two annules anterior to excretory pore.

Esophagus typical.

Intestine vacuolated, with indistinct outline.

Vulva open; in some specimens, anterior lip has two rounded projections. Vagina not sigmoid, running in an oblique to almost transverse direction. Uterus with round spermatheca filled with sperm near its anterior end (several European populations have spermatheca empty).

Tail conoid-rounded, terminal annule often only faintly indented.

Male: Body annulation much finer and less prominent than in female; annule width 2.5-3.0 µm at mid-body.

Lateral field marked by four longitudinal incisures.

Head end rounded.

Spear absent, mouth cavity and esophagus poorly developed and indistinct.

Spicules slightly curved.

Gubernaculum simple, rod-like.

Tail tapering to acute terminus, with well-developed bursa.

Female juvenile: General morphology similar to that of female.

Annules with smooth or slightly irregular posterior margins.

Male juvenile: More slender and with more angular annulation than female juvenile. Spear absent.

[Ref: CIH Descriptions of Plant-parasitic Nematodes, Set 4, No. 58 (1974)


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


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Western U.S.; also the east coast.  M. curvata is important in tree and ornamental nurseries in New Jersey.

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Economic Importance:

D-rated pest in California Nematode Pest Rating System.

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In carnation, it feeds ectoparasitically at root tips and in root hair zone.

Penetrates cell wall by short thrusts of spear; median esophageal bulb then pulsates. The rest of the body remains immobile during feeding.

Anterior end of nematode (and occasionally, the entire body) may become embedded into the root, especially when the population density is high.

Locomotion of the nematode occurs through wave-like contractions of the body, beginning in the tail region and moving anteriorly. Movement is not undulatory, but rectilinear.

In pots, many nematodes remain near the surface; horizontal spreading may be aided by water flow and splashing. Downward movement is probably due chiefly to downward water current.

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   Cranberry, peach, clover, strawberry, and carnation.

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

Optimum temperature is probably near 24 C. At 30 C, reproduction was much lower and the size of the nematodes was slightly smaller than at 15-25 C.

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Feeding can reduce root weight of carnations by 33% in 6 months; causes
destruction of epidermis and necrosis of cortex. In peach, feeding can
cause extensive lesions and pits in roots. Criconemoides curvata is considered to
be one of the factors involved in peach decline. In cranberry, feeding
causes retarded plant growth and inhibits formation of new runners..

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Steam soil used in greenhouse culture; clean root cuttings.

Applications of nematicides in infected peach orchards results in improved grwoth.

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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Pinkerton, J. N.; Forge, T. A.; Ivors, K. L.; Ingham, R. E..  1999. Plant-parasitic nematodes associated with grapevines, Vitis vinifera, in Oregon vineyards. Journal of Nematology, 31:624-634.

Brzeski, M., Y.E. Choi and P.A.A. Loof. 2002a.  Compendium of the genus Criconemoides Taylor, 1936 (Nematoda: Criconematidae).  Nematology 4:325-339.

Brzeski, M., P.A.A. Loof and Y.E. Choi . 2002b.  Compendium of the genus Mesocriconema Andrássy, 1965 (Nematoda: Criconematidae).  Nematology 4:341-360.

Cordero, M. A. Robert T. Robbins, Allen L. Szalanski. 2012. Taxonomic and Molecular Identification of Mesocriconema and Criconemoides Species (Nematoda: Criconematidae). J. Nematology 44: 399-426.

Geraert, E. 2010. The Criconematidae of the World: Identification of the Family Criconematidae. Academia Press, Gent. 615p.

Loof, P.A.A and A. De Grisse. 1989. Taxonomic and nomenclatorial observations on the genus Criconemella De Grisse and Loof, 1965 sensu Luc and Raski, 1981. Med. Fac. Landn. Rijksuniv. Gent. 54:53-74.

Raski & Luc, Rev.  Nematol. 10:409-444 (1987)

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Copyright © 1999 by Howard Ferris.
Revised: April 05, 2021.