Exotic Pest Reporting
U of Missouri Extension
Dagger nematodes (Xiphinema spp.) is a nematode pest. It was first detected in Missouri in 2006.
Dagger nematodes are large plant-parasitic nematodes that feed as ectoparasites (outside the host) on plant roots. High population densities of these nematodes can injure small and tree fruits. Their feeding often results in swollen root tips preventing the roots from functioning properly. Roots often die as a result of this feeding. Therefore, dagger nematodes can affect a plant's growth and yield even if they are not harboring viruses. They are potential vectors of plant viruses known as nepo (nematode transmitted polyhedral-shaped) viruses.