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Infection of the Migratory Grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) by Ingestion of the Entomopathogenic Fungus Beauveria bassiana

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Abstract:

Infection of the migratory grasshopper. Melanoplus sanguinipes (F.). by ingestion of Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin conidiospores was investigated. Laboratory bioassays were performed where grasshoppers were fed a wheat-bran formulation containing B. bassiana spores. Grasshopper mortality was directly related to the ingested spore dosages. Probit analysis estimated LD50 at 3.4 X 105 conidia per host. with 95% FL from 2.1 X 105 to 5.5 X 105. The LT50s for the top 3 dosage treatments where final mortality exceeded 50% were 9.6, 12.5. and 18.4 d for the respective dosages of 1.1 X 106, 5.4 X 106, and 1.0 X 107 conidia per host. The LT50 for the highest dosage (9.6 d) in the feeding bioassay was greater than that seen for insects immersed in a liquid inoculum but lower than for insects that had only their heads dipped. These data suggest that as a result of feeding. spores are brought to favorable infection sites within the head and mouthparts. The nature and sites of fungal infection by feeding were elucidated using epifluorescence and scanning electron microscopy. The exposed and internal mouthpart surfaces of the grasshopper were the predominant sites of spore attachment and germination. The presence of numerous hairs and cavities on these structures greatly facilitates fungal spore attachment and subsequent germination. It would appear that fungal invasion by way of the gut is an uncommon occurrence.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1997

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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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