The endoparasitic behavior of Pratylenchus penetrans was examined using video-enhanced contrast microscopy to observe living nematodes inside root tissue. Feeding behavior could be separated into phases of probing, cell penetration by the stytet, salivation, and food ingestion for brief and extended periods. After cell penetration, a small "salivation zone" was formed around the stylet tip. No feeding tubes were observed. Feeding and migration were interrupted by rest phases when a nematode became characteristically coiled inside a cell. Tissue damage was caused primarily by migration and extended feeding periods. Aspects of egg laying and molting are also described.
Keywords: Pratylenchus penetrans; behavior; lesion nematode; video-enhanced microscopy.