Effects of Beauveria bassiana on survival, blood-feeding success, and fecundity of Aedes aegypti in laboratory and semi-field conditions.
The fungus Beauveria bassiana reduces Aedes aegypti longevity in laboratory conditions, but effects on survival, blood-feeding behavior, and fecundity in realistic environmental conditions have not been tested. Adult, female Ae. aegypti infected with B. bassiana (FI-277) were monitored for blood-feeding success and fecundity in the laboratory. Fungal infection reduced mosquito-human contact by 30%. Fecundity was reduced by (mean ± SD) 29.3 ± 8.6 eggs per female per lifetime in the laboratory; egg batch size and viability were unaffected. Mosquito survival, blood-feeding behavior, and fecundity were also tested in 5 meter × 7 meter × 4 meter semi-field cages in northern Queensland, Australia. Fungal infection reduced mosquito survival in semi-field conditions by 59-95% in large cages compared with 61-69% in small cages. One semi-field cage trial demonstrated 80% reduction in blood-feeding; a second trial showed no significant effect. Infection did not affect fecundity in large cages. Beauveria bassiana can kill and may reduce biting of Ae. aegypti in semi-field conditions and in the laboratory. These results further support the use of B. bassiana as a potential biocontrol agent against Ae. aegypti.
Darbro, JM; Johnson, PH; Thomas, MB; Ritchie, SA; Kay, BH; Ryan, PA
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