Increased and sex-selective avian predation of desert locusts Schistocerca gregaria treated with Metarhizium acridum.

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 1)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 6,543 words
Lexile Measure: 1490L

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Abstract :

The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium acridum in oil-based formulations (Green Muscle.sup.® (GM)) is a biopesticide for locust control lacking side-effects on biodiversity, unlike chemical insecticides. Under controlled conditions, GM-treated locusts and grasshoppers attract predators, a complementary advantage in locust control. We assessed avian predation on a population of desert locusts in northern Niger aerially sprayed operationally with GM with 107 g viable conidia ha.sup.-1 . Populations of adult locusts and birds and vegetation greenness were assessed simultaneously along two transects from 12 days before until 23 days after treatment. Common kestrels Falco tinnunculus and lanners F. biarmicus were the predominant avian predators. Regurgitated pellets and prey remains were collected daily beneath "plucking posts" of kestrels. Locusts started dying five days post-spray and GM had its maximum effect one-two weeks after the spray, with 80% efficacy at day 21. After spraying, bird numbers increased significantly (P

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A647445216