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Reduction of Feeding by the Variegated Grasshopper, Zonocerus variegatus , Following Infection by the Fungal Pathogen, Metarhizium flavoviride

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Abstract:

The effect of infection by the fungal entomopathogen , Metarhizium flavoviride, on feeding by the tropical grasshopper pest , Zonocerus variegatus, was investigated in field - cage studies . A significant reduction in feeding , as indicated by faecal production , was recorded 2 - 3 days after inoculation for a range of spore doses (104 , 105 and 5 105 spores per insect) . This was before any mortality was recorded due to infection . All infected individuals died by day 7 . At this time , faecal production of the treated grasshoppers was equivalent to less than 2 days faecal production by grasshoppers untreated with spores . This reduction in feeding (69 , 71 and 74% total reduction by day 7 in the 104 , 105 and 5 105 doses respectively in comparison to controls) is a substantial contribution to the overall effects of the slow acting pathogen . Furthermore , the rapid reduction in feeding indicated that this effect was not simply due to invasion of the host tissues by the pathogen or production of secondary metabolites . The possibility that reduction in feeding is associated with a behavioural response in which there is a trade - off between host defence and feeding during early stages of infection is discussed

Keywords: BIOCONTROL; ENTOMOPATHOGENIC FUNGI; FEEDING RATE; LOCUSTS AND GRASSHOPPERS; METARHIZIUM FLAVOVIRIDE; THERMOREGULATION; ZONOCERUS VARIEGATUS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09583159730730

Publication date: 1997-09-01

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