Studies were conducted with two different doses of Metarhizium anisopliae var acridum to examine the effects on survival and reproductive potential of adult Schistocerca gregaria under conditions that either limited thermoregulation or enabled optimal thermoregulation. Adult S. gregaria infected with the fungal pathogen showed either a rapid and high mortality at relatively constant temperatures or a much reduced mortality and lengthened survival time when allowed to thermoregulate. Mortality rate varied from >90% after 10 days under constant temperature conditions to 66% after 70 days under optimal thermoregulatory conditions. Effects of infection on maturation and reproduction depended on the age of the adults at the time of inoculation, the nighttime temperature regime, the fungal dose, and the length of time of the monitoring period. No difference in reproductive behaviors in treated and control insects were found in one experiment that utilized older adults and was conducted over 25 days. In a second experiment with newly fledged locusts, differences in maturation rates and total reproductive output were observed due to infection. The results from these experiments are discussed in terms of the potential of M. anisopliae var acridum to alter the balance of insect endocrine systems and the importance of the assessment of behavioral changes and their impact on microbial control agents in the long term.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics