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PestNet is a network that helps people worldwide obtain rapid advice and information on crop protection, including the identification and management of plant pests. It started in 1999. Anyone with an interest in plant protection is welcome to join. PestNet is free and is moderated, ensuring that messages are confined to plant protection.
Pests > Pest Management > Biological control > Bioagents – microbial > Entomophthorales fungi, Tarophagus, Tonga
February 2006. Recenty, when in Vava’u, Tonga, conducting an insect pest survey, dead taro planthopper (Tarophagus proserpina ( Kirkaldy) ( Hemiptera:Delphacidae) adults were found on taro (Colocasia esculenta) stuck to the leaves with wings apart. Any information on possible entomopathogens known to infect the taro planthopper or closely related species was requested.
The insects are infected by a fungal pathogen in the order Entomophthorales. These pathogens, which are known to attack Delphacids, typically produce rhizoids to anchor the dead insect host to the substrate and then the fungus erupts through the inter-segmental membranes. The fungus then actively discharges spores (conidia) into the air, forming a “halo” around the dead host.