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The differential mortality at different life stages of the greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae), by infection with the fungus Aschersonia aleyrodis (Deuteromycotina: Coelomycetes)



The differential mortality at different life stages of the greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae), by infection with the fungus Aschersonia aleyrodis (Deuteromycotina: Coelomycetes)



Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 502: 158-165



The parasitoid Encarsia formosa is commonly applied to control the greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum in glasshouse tomatoes and cucumbers. Nevertheless, in some cases the control capacity of this natural enemy is insufficient and an additional selective pest-suppressing agent is desirable. The entomopathogenic fungus Aschersonia aleyrodis was applied to cucumber plants carrying whiteflies in different developmental stages. After spraying each leaf with 2 ml of spore suspension (4 .times. 106 spores/ml) the plants were kept at 100% RH for 24 hr; thereafter the humidity was lowered to 70% RH at 20.degree.C and the photoperiod was 16 hr. Treated eggs did not become infected, but larvae that hatched from these eggs and settled on the treated abaxial leaf surface were infected at the same rate and to the same degree as treated first instar larvae. This suggests that the spores persist for at least 7 days. The final percentages of infection over all instars when treated as young eggs, old eggs, and first larval instars were 94, 93, and 90%, respectively. The final percentages of infection when treated as third and fourth larval instars and prepupae were 76, 28, and 12%, respectively. The older instars were less susceptible and adults were seldom infected by the fungus. Several applications of A. aleyrodis as a microbial insecticide are needed to achieve sufficient control fo whitefly populations in glasshouses.

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Related references

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