The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (Metsch.) Sorokin was tested in the laboratory against field-collected groups of eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), in foraging arenas to determine the potential effect of a “trap and treat” protocol (trapping a part of the population, treating it with a biological control agent and releasing it back into the original population). Individual termites were treated with a suspension of M. anisopliae conidia and released back into the arenas containing untreated termites. After 5 d, 90% of the treated termites died in the arena, but untreated termites did not exhibit a significant increase in mortality within 90 d after release, indicating no transfer of viable M. anisopliae and no epizootic. Although M. anisopliae was isolated from the arenas after 90 d, the average number of fungal colony-forming units recovered was <0.1% of the conidia introduced.
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Vol. 101 • No. 3