Biological and ecological relationships of the fungus, Entomophthora coronata (Constantin) Kevorkian, and the garden symphylan, Scutigerella immaculata (Newport) Public Deposited

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  • A study was made to determine biological relationships between the garden symphylan, Scutigerella immaculata (Newport), and an entomogenous fungus, Entomophthora coronata (Costantin), which attacks it under certain conditions. Until this fungus was found to infect this pest, no organism which seemed to offer promise of control had been discovered. Symphylan populations were exposed to E. coronata and the pathology followed. When new syrnphylans were added to an infected culture as the diseased individuals died, an epizootic condition developed to a point at which symphylans were infected and killed in less than two days. E. coronata survived in contaminated containers for as much as five months without susceptible hosts as evidenced by infection of reintroduced symphylans. Wax moth larvae, Galleria, and European house crickets showed high mortality when injected with spores suspended in physiological saline solution. Wax moth larvae and mealworms, Tenebrio, were infected when they were dusted with spores and incubated at 15°C temperature in high humidity. Penetration of the cuticle by germ tubes from attached spores is the usual pathway of infection. Temperature ranges for both organisms correspond closely. Both become active a few degrees above freezing and reach an optimum between 20° and 30°C. Lethal temperature for both is somewhat below 37°C. Eight sulfonamides and an equal number of antibiotics were tested against the fungus. None showed inhibitory effects. Fungal inhibiting agents Mycostatin, methyl p-hydroxybenzoate, sorbic acid, and formalin were destructive at rates used in insect rearing media. E. coronata grows well on a large number of high protein media. Mass-rearing for large experiments seems possible.
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