Activity of Entomopathogenic Fungi in Free-Foraging Workers of Camponotus pennsylvanicus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

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Abstract:

The entomopathogenic fungi Metarhizium anisopliae (Metchnikoff) Sorokin and Bearweria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin were studied to determine their pathogenicity against free-foraging workers of the black carpenter ant, Camponotus pennsylvanicus (De-Geer). Worker ants exposed to B. bassiana died faster than ants exposed to either of 2 strains of M. anisopliae (Mal and Ma2). When the ants were allowed continuous access to fungal conidia in an inoculation chamber, B. bassiana killed the ants faster than ants exposed to either Mal or Ma2. When exposed once to fungal conidia, during a single feeding within an inoculation chamber (that is, direct exposure), the workers exposed to B. bassiana died quicker than did those exposed to either strain of M. anisopliae. To study the effects of horizontal transmission of conidia on pathogenicity, workers were directly exposed to B. bassiana and mixed with other unexposed workers (that is, indirect exposure). At a 1:1 ratio of exposed to unexposed workers, the ants died at a rate that did not differ significantly from that in the earlier, direct exposures, yet at a 1:9 ratio of exposed to unexposed workers, the rate of mortality was slower. Horizontal transmission of the pathogen did not lower the ultimate pathogenicity; after 60 d, the cumulative percentage of mortality exceeded 90% in the direct and indirect exposures to B. bassiana.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1995

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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