, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 89-102
Date: 29 Oct 2009

Entomopathogenic fungi and insect behaviour: from unsuspecting hosts to targeted vectors

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The behavioural response of an insect to a fungal pathogen will have a direct effect on the efficacy of the fungus as a biological control agent. In this paper we describe two processes that have a significant effect on the interactions between insects and entomopathogenic fungi: (a) the ability of target insects to detect and avoid fungal pathogens and (b) the transmission of fungal pathogens between host insects. The behavioural interactions between insects and entomopathogenic fungi are described for a variety of fungal pathogens ranging from commercially available bio-pesticides to non-formulated naturally occurring pathogens. The artificial manipulation of insect behaviour using dissemination devices to contaminate insects with entomopathogenic fungi is then described. The implications of insect behaviour on the use of fungal pathogens as biological control agents are discussed.

Handling Editor: Eric Wajnberg.