Laboratory studies investigated the interaction between the fungal entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin and sublethal doses of the insecticides imidacloprid and cyromazine when applied to larvae of the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say). When second instars were fed potato leaf discs treated with sublethal doses of imidacloprid and a range of doses of B. bassiana, a synergistic action was demonstrated. Similar results were observed when larvae were sprayed directly with B. bassiana conidia and immediately fed leaf discs treated with imidacloprid. No synergistic interaction was detected when larvae were fed leaf discs treated with sublethal doses of imidacloprid 24 h after application of B. bassiana conidia to larvae. However, a synergistic interaction was detected when larvae were fed leaf discs treated with imidacloprid and sprayed with B. bassiana conidia 24 h later. Although sublethal doses of both imidacloprid and the triazine insect growth regulator (IGR) cyromazine prolonged the duration of the second instar, only imidacloprid interacted with B. bassiana to produce a synergistic response in larval mortality. In leaf consumption studies, the highest dose of B. bassiana tested promoted feeding in inoculated second instars. Feeding was inhibited when larvae were fed foliage treated with sublethal doses of imidacloprid and significantly reduced when fed foliage treated with a sublethal dose of cyromazine. Starvation of larvae for 24 h immediately after B. bassiana treatment produced a similar result to the combined treatment of B. bassiana and imidacloprid and increased the level of mycosis when compared with B. bassiana controls. Imidacloprid treatment affected neither the rate of germination of B. bassiana conidia on the insect cuticle nor the rate at which conidia were removed from the integument after application. The statistical analysis used to detect synergism and the possible role of starvation-induced stress factors underlying the observed synergistic interactions are discussed.
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Vol. 94 • No. 2