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1 December 2011 Potential of Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) as a Bioassay Probe for Metarhizium brunneum (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) Activity Against Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae)
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Abstract

The yellow mealworm, Tenebrio molitor L., has been used to indicate qualitatively the presence of entomopathogenic fungi in the soil or as a model for evaluating stress and other factors on fungal activity. Although this beetle appears highly susceptible to many of these fungi, little quantitative information is available on the sensitivity of T. molitor to a specific fungus and, therefore, fungal presence or as an indicator for pathogenicity to other species. The purpose of this study was to establish the suitability of T. molitor larvae as a bioassay probe for Metarhizium brunneum for comparison against the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Nine concentrations of M. brunneum strain F52 ranging from 1.0 × 101 to 8.4 × 108 conidia/ml were simultaneously tested against T. molitor larvae and I. scapularis adults. Larvae of yellow mealworm were less sensitive to M. brunneum than I. scapularis adults (LC50's 4.4 × 107 and 1.7 × 105 conidia/ml, respectively, 4-wk post-treatment). The greater sensitivity of I. scapularis to the fungus suggests that the detection of fungal mycosis in mealworms would indicate sufficient inoculum to be pathogenic to I. scapularis and make this insect a suitable probe for evaluation of the presence and activity of M. brunneum against the blacklegged tick in field applications.

© 2011 Entomological Society of America
Anuja Bharadwaj and Kirby C. Stafford "Potential of Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) as a Bioassay Probe for Metarhizium brunneum (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) Activity Against Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae)," Journal of Economic Entomology 104(6), 2095-2098, (1 December 2011). https://doi.org/10.1603/EC11170
Received: 23 May 2011; Accepted: 1 August 2011; Published: 1 December 2011
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