We determined that spinosad interacts synergistically with the biocontrol agent Metarhizium anisopliae (Metch) Sorokin to increase the mortality of two wild-collected wireworm species, Agriotes lineatus (L.), and Agriotes obscurus (L.). Bioassays were performed using a M. anisopliae isolate originally acquired from a local wireworm cadaver. M. anisopliae was applied as a soil drench at 3.3 × 102 and 104 conidia per gram sand, respectively. Soil drenches also were prepared using a commercial formulation of the actinomycete toxins spinosyn-A and spinosyn-D (common name spinosad) at sublethal doses of 1.5, 3, and 6 ppm active ingredient per gram sand. Combined treatments of spinosad and M. anisopliae were synergistic in causing mortality for all spinosad concentrations. Wireworm feeding activity was reduced after exposure to both spinosad and M. anisopliae and was found to be concentration dependent. The high mortality and reduced rate of wireworm feeding suggest that spinosad and M. anisopliae treatment combinations should be tested in the field.
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Vol. 100 • No. 1