Assessing compatibility of Isaria fumosorosea and buprofezin for mitigation of Aleurodicus rugioperculatus (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae): an invasive pest in the Florida landscape.
Rugose spiraling whitefly (RSW), Aleurodicus rugioperculatus Martin (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is a new invasive whitefly pest in the Florida landscape, known to feed on a wide range of plants including palms, woody ornamentals, shrubs, and fruits. With the objective to find an alternative to neonicotinoid insecticides, and develop an ecofriendly management program for RSW, in the current study we evaluated the efficacy of a biopesticide containing the entomopathogenic fungi, Isaria fumosorosea Wize (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae), and an insect growth regulator buprofezin applied alone and in combination under laboratory and field conditions. Before assessing the two products, their compatibility was studied at six different concentrations of buprofezin. No significant inhibitive effect of buprofezin was observed on I. fumosorosea spore germination, and the average linear growth of the colony measured 14 d postinoculation. Under laboratory conditions, I. fumosorosea treatments (alone or mixed with buprofezin) provided higher RSW mortality than buprofezin alone. However, in both outdoor cage studies, the efficacy of buprofezin treatments (alone or mixed with I. fumosorosea) was higher than I. fumosorosea alone. A significant reduction in RSW population was reported for more than 5 wk in buprofezin alone and more than 7 wk in the combination treatments. In fall of 2014 and summer of 2015, the mean whitefly mortality observed during the 10-wk assessment period was 52.4 and 42.1% for I. fumosorosea, 79.6 and 79.0% for buprofezin, and 87.6 and 84.3% in mixed treatments, respectively. Results suggest that buprofezin can offer an effective alternate in the battle against invasive whiteflies such as RSW in Florida ecosystems, either as a stand-alone strategy or in an integrated approach.