Contarini, Mario (2015) Indagini di base per l'impiego di Entomophaga maimaiga nel controllo di Lymantria dispar in ambiente mediterraneo. Doctoral Thesis.
Lymantria dispar larvae were collected in 20 oak stands in Sardinia to evaluate mortality factors. Collected larvae were reared in the laboratory on artificial diet until they died or pupated. Larval mortality ranged from 17,5% to 100%. Parasitoids that killed larvae were identified and the remaining larvae were evaluated for presence of pathogens. The tachinid Blepharipa pratensis was the most frequently observed and caused up to 57% mortality. The viral pathogen LdNPV caused mortality up to 37,5%. We recorded the presence of Beauveria bassiana as well as the microsporidium Nosema portugal, which was previously identified as Nosema lymantriae. The fungal entomopathogen Entomophaga maimaiga was not collected from the host populations surveyed. This fungus is a virulent and very host specific pathogen of the gypsy moth. We started bioassays to verify the effectiveness against gypsy moth larvae from Sardinia and other parts of Italy. Two methodologies were followed: larvae were exposed to contaminated soil containing E. maimaiga azygospores; larvae were sunk in a water suspension containing the fungus azygospores. Mortality caused by fungus was 4,16% in 2012, 3% in 2013 and 2,06% in 2014 for the first method and 4.70% for the second method. In order to exclude negative effects for the environment and lay the foundations for the introduction of E. maimaiga in Sardinia we verified the action of the fungus against other lepidopteran larvae: none of them were killed by the fungus.
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