Potential use of the fungusBeauveria bassianaagainst the western flower thripsFrankliniella occidentaliswithout reducing the effectiveness of its natural predatorOrius sauteri(Hemiptera: Anthocoridae)
Biocontrol science and technology (Print)
Orius sauteri (Poppius; Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) is an important predator of western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande; Thysanoptera: Thripidae). O. sauteri would be directly exposed to the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana (Bals.) Vuillemin in the field should the fungus be used as a biopesticide. If the fungus were to negatively affect O. sauteri in agro-ecosystems, predation of F. occidentalis by O. sauteri may be limited. The present study was undertaken to
... ndertaken to evaluate the insecticidal activity of strain B.bassiana-RSB of B. bassiana, which is highly virulent to F. occidentalis, on the predator under laboratory conditions. Results showed that, regardless of the concentration applied to first instars, Bb-RSB was not insecticidal against O. sauteri, nor did direct applications affect the developmental rate of the predator. Significant differences in developmental rates and adult longevity were observed between O. sauteri that fed on Bb-RSB-infected F. occidentalis cadavers and those that fed on untreated thrips. Developmental time (from first instar to adult) increased from 0.3 to 0.7 days and adult longevity decreased by 0.8 to 1.2 days for predators fed thrips treated with low and high concentrations of strain Bb-RSB, respectively, compared with predators fed on untreated thrips. However, these differences were only 3Á13% of mean values for the controls, suggesting that the effects of Bb-RSB on O. sauteri are relatively minor. These findings highlight the potential use of O. sauteri in combination with B. bassiana for the biocontrol of F. occidentalis, but field tests must be performed to confirm their compatible use.