Pathogenicity of Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae on Aak grasshopper, Poekilocerus pictus Fabr. (Orthoptera: Acrididea).
Two indigenous entomofungal strains each of Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae were tested for their pathogenic effect on Aak grasshopper, Poekilocerus pictus, Fabricus, 1775 (Orthoptera: Acrididea) under laboratory conditions. Among the four isolates tested, M. anisopliae ICAR-NBAIR Ma-4 and ICAR-NBAIR Ma-35 caused 100 and 90% mortality, respectively, whereas B. bassiana ICAR-NBAIR Bb-78 and ICAR-NBAIR Bb-45 showed 40 and 14% mortality, respectively. ICAR-NBAIR Ma-4 and ICAR-NBAIR Ma-35 isolates were further tested on eggs of grasshoppers which showed 72.7 and 59.8% mortality respectively. Dose and time mortality studies with ICAR-NBAIR Ma-4 showed LC50 value of 1.52 × 103 spores/ml and LT50 of 68.17 h at dose of 1 × 108 spores/ml. ICAR-NBAIR Ma-35 showed LC50 value of 2.09 × 103 spores/ml and LT50 of 87.10 h at dose of 1 × 108 spores/ml. The use of isolate ICAR-NBAIR Ma-4 as a potential control agent of Poekilocerus pictus with a lower LC50 which killed faster half of Poekilocerus pictus individuals. This isolate can be further tested against the devastating invasive desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria for its management on the eggs and early hopper stages.