"So, naturalists observe, a flea has smaller fleas that on him prey; and these have smaller still to bite ’em; and so proceed ad infinitum."
- Jonathan Swift

February 13, 2010

February 13 - Afenestrata koreana

Eco-friendly fashionistas are frequently turning to bamboo as an alternative to cotton. It doesn't need irrigation, it grows faster, and does not need fertilizers - and it's incredibly soft and durable. But, of course, it has parasites. One of them is a tiny little nematode (roundworm) that makes cysts in its roots. Juveniles invade the roots and feed from the plant. Females swell up and fill with eggs (see photo). Plant nematodes are very important agricultural pests and are very diverse, but this species, the bamboo cyst nematode, Afenestrata koreana, was only just described in 1992.

Photo from the original description by Vovlas et al.

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