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Species Page

Scutellonema brachyurus
This information is part of a full datasheet available in the Crop Protection Compendium (CPC); For information on how to access the CPC, click here.
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.


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Host plants / species affected

Main hosts

show all species affected
Aloe (grey alder)
Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)
Glycine max (soyabean)
Gossypium (cotton)
Musa (banana)
Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco)
Prunus persica (peach)

List of symptoms / signs

Leaves - abnormal colours
Leaves - abnormal forms
Roots - cortex with lesions
Roots - necrotic streaks or lesions


Goodey (1952) observed that parasitized roots of Hippeastrum sp. showed reddish lesions on roots which later turned brown. The nematodes reproduced and lived in root cavities. These cavities were also seen by Steiner (1938) on red spiderlily. The internal root cavities produced by the nematodes became isolated by a new tissue, wound periderm with suberized cells (Goodey, 1952). Graham (1955) showed that S. brachyurus produced lesions on the roots of tobacco under glasshouse and field conditions. Inoculated amaryllis seedlings showed reduced leaf growth and slightly discoloured roots (Nong and Weber, 1964).

Symptoms produced by the nematode on Aloe vera include leaf stunting and chlorosis, coarse root and a decrease in the ability of aloe to recover following leaf harvesting (Esser et al., 1986).

In potato, dark brown root lesions were formed after 12 h feeding by S. brachyurus. These lesions eventually extended axially in the root. Lesions involved cells not directly penetrated by S. brachyurus, which suggested a chemical as well as mechanical injury to tissue (Schuerger and McClure, 1983; see Biology and Ecology).

Prevention and control

Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources:


Poor growth of cotton in South Carolina, USA has been associated with S. brachyurus, which was recovered from 48% of cotton soil samples collected in 1978 (Kraus-Schmidt and Lewis, 1981). It is pathogenic to tobacco. A soil population of 4000-5000 per gallon of soil caused stunting of Golden Cure tobacco; root weight, top weight and height were reduced by 57, 43 and 40%, respectively (Graham, 1955).

S. brachyurus is pathogenic to asparagus in Poland. In asparagus grown on a nutrient-poor substrate, a distinct reduction in plant growth was observed, with a damage threshold at 400-500 S. brachyurus per 100 m² of initial nematode contamination of soil. In standard substrate, initially low nematode populations did not affect plant growth (although nematode densities increased more rapidly than in poor medium); at 1600 nematodes per 100 square centimetres of substrate, plant growth was reduced by 20% (Wopjtowicz and Szczygiel, 1990b).

In Florida, USA, S. brachyurus was found to be pathogenic to aloe. Damage caused by the nematode included leaf stunting and chlorosis, coarse root and a decrease in the ability of aloe to recover following leaf harvesting (Esser et al., 1986). It was also associated with peach tree short-life syndrome in South Carolina, USA: high populations of both S. brachyurus and Macroposthonia xenoplax were detected in the root zones of peach trees suffering from this syndrome. Both nematodes responded to changes in tree health, with the highest numbers detected under the most vigorous trees; both populations declined as tree vigour declined, and few of either species were detected 6 months after trees died (Nesmith et al., 1981).

Vicia villosa plants (used as green manure) harbouring large populations of S. brachyurus did not show any significant effects on shoot growth, but root growth was slightly reduced as compared with controls (Malek and Jenkins, 1964). In an experiment, root growth of seedlings of Pinus palustris was stimulated by a high inoculum level of S. brachyurus (Ruehle, 1973), while in North Carolina, USA, large populations of S. brachyurus did not cause economic loss on soyabean (Schmitt, 1988).