Pathogens of bark beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Bulgarian forests.
The occurrence and prevalence of bark beetle pathogens in forest stands in Bulgaria were investigated in 944 specimens belonging to 21 bark beetle species. Protozoa, microsporidia, fungi and nematodes occurred in 19 of all investigated species. The infections were found in the gut (nematodes, gregarines, microsporidia), gonads (microsporidia) and hemolymph (nematodes) of the infected insects. Protozoan species (Gregarina typographi, Gregarina spp.) were detected in eight bark beetle species. Morphometric data about G. typographi and Gregarina spp. are presented. The prevalence of the gregarines varied between 1.4% and 64.2%. Microsporidia of the genera Nosema and Chytridiopsis were revealed in three bark beetle species. The prevalence of microsporidia ranged between 1.5% and 11.8%. This is the first report of a microsporidium in Taphrorychus villifrons and of gregarines in T. villifrons, Pityogenes bistridentatus, P. conjunctus, and Orthotomicus erosus. The fungus Beauveria bassiana was found in 3.4% of Hylurgops palliatus specimens. Nematodes (in gut and haemolymph) were revealed in 19 bark beetle species and their prevalence varied between 10% and 98.5%.