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Title: Prospección de hongos Entomophthorales para el control natural de insectos en Bahía, Brasil [Prospecting Entomophthoralean fungi for the natural control of insects in Bahia, Brazil]

item Mendez Sanchez, S. E.
item Humber, Richard
item Roberts, D. W.
item Freitas, A. L.
item Lima, L. S.
item Silva, G. B.
item De Almeida, C. S.
item Nunes, E. V.

Submitted to: Revista Manejo Integrado de Plagas
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/9/2002
Publication Date: 12/1/2002
Citation: Mendez Sanchez, S., Humber, R.A., Roberts, D., Freitas, A., Lima, L., Silva, G., De Almeida, C., Nunes, E. 2002. Prospección de hongos Entomophthorales para el control natural de insectos en Bahía, Brasil [Prospecting Entomophthoralean fungi for the natural control of insects in Bahia, Brazil]. Revista Manejo Integrado de Plagas. 66:20-30.

Interpretive Summary: This study reports results of the first explorations in the southern part of the Brazilian state of Bahia for fungal pathogens belonging to the order Entomophthorales. The fungi reported were found affecting a wide range of insect hosts that are pests for either crops or livestock; at least one pathogen affected mosquitoes that are important vectors of diseases of humans and livestock. The results obtained are important since comparatively few studies of entomophthoralean pathogens have been conducted in tropical parts of Brazil or elsewhere around the world, and the number and diversity of fungal species found indicates that these fungi show significant potential for the biocontrol of insect pests in the heart of the humid tropics (an area previously thought to be comparatively hostile for the presence and activity of Entomophthorales pathogens). These results will provide a valuable baseline for comparison of the flora of entomophthoralean fungi from other parts of tropical South America and West Africa when such surveys are done, and provide an important floristic/ecological document in the Spanish language for use throughout South and Central America.

Technical Abstract: Research on Entomophthorales fungi in southern Bahia State, Brazil, included enzootic and epizootic studies on the dynamics of entomophthoromycosis and their interrelations with insect populations of various insect orders, geographical distributions and incidence on crops, natural grasses and other substrates. The study of the Entomophthorales is also object of this investigation on insects of medical importance and medical veterinary medicine. This work is being conducted in an orderly and sequential manner, and the pathogens are identified microscopically together with the biometric data of the structure of the fungi. The results are important for the region as they confirm the presence of Erynia dipterigena on Diptera; Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae, Dilichopodidae and Sciaridae. Entomophthora muscae was present on Diptera muscid flies. Conidiobolus sp., Entomophaga tipulae or Entomophaga domestica were found on Diptera-Culicidae/genera Anopheles. Erynia myrmecophaga occurred on Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Paratrechina sp. We also identified Conidiobolus sp on Hemiptera, Subord. Homoptera, Cicadellidae and Cercopidae. Batkoa apiculata affected Coleoptera, Lagriidae, Lagria villosa. Entomophaga aulicae attacked unidentified adults of Lepidoptera, and the Entomophaga grylli species complex was found on Orthoptera, Acrididae, Rhammatocerus brasiliensis, Rhammatocerus brunneri, Abracris dilecta, Abracris flavolineata, and on one unidentified species of Ommatolampinae subfamily. The biological material collected in the region demonstrates the effectiveness of these pathogens in the natural control of these insect populations during the project (May 1998 to May 2002). Mean monthly temperatures and relative humidities for the region varied from 20.5--25.0 deg C and 82--88.8%, respectively, and presented ideal conditions for the development of entomophthoromycosis.