We conducted augmentative and inoculative releases of two microsporidian species, Nosema lymantriae and Vairimorpha disparis into gypsy moth populations in Bulgaria and the USA. Both species were originally isolated from gypsy moth populations in Bulgaria. The microsporidia were released in 2008 into two low density gypsy moth populations in Bulgaria and two rising populations in northern Illinois, USA. We monitored the releases in 2008 and 2009. In 2008, N. lymantriae and V. disparis were recovered from hosts in both sites in Bulgaria, only N. lymantriae was detected in 2009. No infected larvae were collected in Illinois sites in 2008. In Illinois, the introduced fungal pathogen, Entomophaga maimaiga, was epizootic in the gypsy moth study sites. It is not known if E. maimaiga competes with microsporidia in host populations. E. maimaiga was inoculatively introduced as a classical biological control agent into six different gypsy moth populations in Bulgaria during the period 1996-2009. Monitoring studies showed that the fungus had successfully established in 9 sites by 2009, but it is not yet present in the microsporidia release sites. The presence of a new biological control agent, E. maimaiga, in Bulgaria has potential to allow the reduction of the use of pesticides in the native gypsy moth, while establishment of microsporidia in North America would add to the natural enemy complex where gypsy moth is an introduced pest.
|Title of host publication
|43rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology and 10th International Colloquium on Invertebrate Pathology, The Final Meeting of COST862 Action: Bacterial Toxins for Insect Control, 11-15 July 2010, Trabzon, Turkey
|Published - 2010