a1 Field Officer, Institute of Agricultural Parasitology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
a2 Field Naturalist, Institute of Agricultural Parasitology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
During the pursuit of field work in the neighbourhood of Warwick in which the collection and examination of insects was involved, it was observed whilst carrying out dissections of dung-infesting beetles that several of them had attached to various parts of the exoskeleton collections of what were at first taken to be fungus spores. On close examination, however, these adherent bodies were discovered to be encysted nematodes which were using the beetles as carrying agents, whereby their transference to fresh dung, required for further development, would be assured.
Our attention was drawn to a short note, written by Christie (1925), in which this author discusses the finding of what was either Rhabditis coarctata Leuck. or a closely related species on a number of species of dung beetles in America. With this information in mind, it was decided to culture the worms in order to follow out the life-cycle, determine the species, and make observations on the behaviour of the nematodes in relation to the insects on which they were found attached.