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New Zealand Plant Protection 55 (2002): 73-79

Potential of Beauveria and Metarhizium as control agents of pinhole borers (Platypus spp.)

T.R. Glare, C. Placet, T.L. Nelson and S.D. Reay


Three species of pinhole borer (Platypus spp.) are known in New Zealand. They are pests of beech and some other trees, boring deep into living and dead trees which allows the ingress of sapstain and other fungi. Although the species are native to New Zealand, they can still cause localised problems to trees when populations reach epidemic levels. We investigated the virulence of a selection of New Zealand isolates of three entomopathogenic fungi, Beauveria bassiana, B. brongniartii and M. anisopliae, against Platypus. The fungi were mainly from soil in beech forests. All isolates tested could kill and sporulate on Platypus. The ability of adult Platypus to contaminate larvae by transfer of spores was tested and found to occur in the laboratory. The possibilities of using Beauveria for localised Platypus control are discussed.

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