Enhanced ovicidal activity of an oil formulation of the fungusMetarhizium anisopliaeon the mosquitoAedes aegypti

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The effect of humidity on the activity of Metarhizium anisopliae IP 46 (Metsch.) Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) formulated in sunflower oil against Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae) eggs was examined. After exposure of eggs at 75% relative humidity (RH) for ≤ 25 days, ovicidal activity was not increased by oil-in-water formulated conidia, hyphal bodies or pure-oil formulated conidia, compared with conidia or hyphal bodies prepared in water only. At optimal > 98% RH, eclosion was ≤ 13.7% after treatment with oil-in-water formulated propagules in ≤ 10% oil, and it was completely inhibited when conidia were applied in pure oil. At 86–100% RH, new conidia were found on eggs treated with oil-formulated conidia and incubated down to 91% RH. Ovicidal activity was still detected at 93% RH and was augmented with increasing humidity and time of exposure of eggs. Eclosion of larvae was distinctly reduced by IP 46 pure-oil formulated conidia after a minimal initial exposure of 3 days at > 98% RH, followed by: (a) a 12-day exposure at 75% RH before submersion in water; (b) a minimal 5-day exposure at > 98% RH and direct subsequent transfer of treated eggs to water, or (c) a minimal daily 20-h exposure at > 98% RH alternating with 4 h at 75% RH for 10 days. We demonstrate that oil-based formulations of conidia of M. anisopliae enhance ovicidal activity at high humidities and conclude that these formulations have potential in the integrated control of Ae. aegypti.

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