K.Karthikeyan and Sosamma Jacob
Investigations have been conducted to assess the biological efficiency of white muscardine fungus, Beauveria bassiana against Rice Blue Beetle, Leptispa pygamea Baly (Coleoptera : Chrysomelidae) under both laboratory and field conditions, during the period 2004-2006 at the Regional Agricultural Research Station, Pattambi, Kerala Agricultural University, India is reported in this communication. Results of the experiment revealed that the fungus had a cumulative adult mortality of 56.67 to 80.00 per cent at 105 to 109 spores / ml and the LC50value was 2.26 x 104 spores / ml under laboratory conditions. Under field conditions, the fungus brought about 61 to 72 % reduction of damage over untreated control and was superior to all tested biopesticides, paraffin oil @ 2%, neem oil @ 2% and azadirachtin 1% @ 0.004% and were on par with efficacy of tested synthetic chemical insecticides, chlorpyriphos @ 0.05 % and carbaryl @0.2 % against the beetle. The persistent toxicity of B. bassiana was on par with other eco-friendly insecticides viz., azadirachtin 1% (Econeem) and neem oil.
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