Safety of an oil based formulation of entomopathogen, Metarhizium anisopliae to pollinators of mango
An oil based formulation of Metarhizium anisopliae developed by ICAR- Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bengaluru, for leafhopper management in mango, was evaluated for its safety to mango pollinators. The effect on pollinators was compared with a botanical (azadirachtin 1%) and a chemical (imidacloprid 17.8 SL) insecticide. Four species of pollinators, viz., Apis florea, Apis cerana, Eristalis arvorum and Chrysomya megacephala were recorded as major foragers on mango. Results indicated that, after spraying the pollinator activity was significantly higher on trees treated with entomopathogen (biological control) compared to those on botanical and insecticide treated ones. There was no significant reduction in pollinator activity on M. anisopliae treated plants compared to untreated control. The frequency of visitation by C. megacephala, was also highest in biological control treatment than in chemical and botanical respectively. This indicates that application of the oil based formulation of M. anisoplaie developed by ICARIIHR to manage leafhoppers and thrips on mango does not affect the pollinator activity and is safe to pollinators
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