Entomopathogenic nematodes in agriculture – potential threat to protected beetle species
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Entomopathogenic nematodes are the most important insect parasites, therefore they are used in the production of biopreparations. Application of nematode based biopreparations in biological methods of pest control has many positive and negative features, some of them, however, raise some doubts. Particularly doubtful features are the selectivity in colonising and killing potential hosts by nematodes. Apart from pests, the ecosystems to which entomophilous nematodes have been introduced are inhabited by benefi cial insects and those that are legally protected. One of such species is the hermit beetle (Osmoderma eremita), very endangered and strictly protected species according to the Bern Convention, listed in the second and fourth appendix to the Habitat Directive and mentioned in many European Red Books e.g. in Red List of Nearly Extinct and Endangered Animals in Poland and in Polish Red Book of Animals. The marbled rose chafer Protaetia lugubris, in spite of its rarity it is not the protected species. Its habitat preferences are similar to those of the hermit beetle, which makes it potentially endangered in the same way as O. eremita.
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