n African Entomology - Can entomopathogenic fungi clearly differentiate between harmful and beneficial insects in nature?




For two successive years, a survey was conducted of entomopathogenic fungi associated with two naturally infected predatory insect species on different plantations of the Nile Delta in northern Egypt. Adults of the eleven-spotted ladybird beetle, (Coleoptera : Coccinellidae), are frequently observed with infections of the entomopathogenic fungus , which caused mortality of 4.1% and 5.4% in the adult ladybird beetle population sampled in July 2006 and 2007, respectively. However, mycosed individuals of the seven-spotted ladybird, , were rarely encountered. Adults of the syrphid fly (Diptera: Syrphidae) are also subject to infection with the entomopathogenic fungus . Data showed that caused mortality in syrphid fly adults at rates of 4.6% in April to 0.2% in June 2006, whereas mortality rates ranged from 6.1% in April to 0.9% in June 2007. Mycosed syrphid adults were always found in an elevated position (frequently near the tips of artichoke leaves). Two years of field monitoring revealed that both entomopathogenic fungi, and , fail to distinguish between their original hosts and the predatory insects that coexist in the same ecosystem.


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