Impact of the entomopathogenic fungus Verticullium lecanii on development of an aphid parasitoid, Aphidius colemani
The parasitoid Aphidius colemani developed normally (approximately 90% adult emergence) when its cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii) host was treated with Verticillum lecanii conidia 5 or 7 days after parasitization. Fungus exposure 1 day before or up to 3 days after parasitization, however, reduced A. colemani emergence from 0 to 10%. Also, numbers of spores and mycelial fragments in aphid homogenates were much higher in aphids exposed to the fungus up to 3 days after parasitization than in aphids treated after 5 or 7 days. Our results suggest that the parasitoid and fungus may be used together for aphid biocontrol as long as fungus applications are timed to allow late-instar development of the parasitoid.