MUSTAFA YAMAN, TUĞBA SAĞLAM, ÖMER ERTÜRK
Türkiye Parazitoloji Dergisi -
Objective: Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) originating from South America is one of the important insect pests that damages storage products and is found on every continent. There is a new interest in using enthomopathogens for microbial control of P. interpunctella as well as other stored product pests. Coccidia as a group of protistan entomopathogens are host specific and their pathogenic effects on the hosts are more pronounced. Although this pathogenic effect results in increased host mortality or higher susceptibility to insecticides, the suppressive potential of coccidia in natural populations has not been adequately studied. In this study, characterization, distribution and occurrence of a coccidian entomopathogen was aim to show its natural suppressing potential in P. interpunctella populations. METHODS: During the three years (from 2019 to 2021), a total of 3.432 P. interpunctella samples (2.047 dead and 413 living larvae, 932 adults and 40 pupae) were collected from fourteen populations. After macroscopic examination, suspected samples were dissected in Ringer’s solution and then prepared wet smears including host fat body were examined for presence of coccidian pathogens under a light microscope at a magnification of 400-1000X. The oocysts of the coccidian were measured and photographed using a microscope with a digital camera and soft imaging system. Results: The pathogen was observed in the fat bodies of the larvae, pupae and adults. Oocysts measured as 29.52±3.32 (25.27- 35.08) μm in diameter and they include 8 sporocysts. Sporocysts measured as 9.11±0.61 (8.90-9.85) μm. Forty-five of 3.432 P. interpunctella larvae, pupae and adults were found to be infected. Coccidian infections have also reached to the levels that can be considered high in some populations, as significant as 29.2%. The infection was observed in the three (21.4%) of the examined fourteen populations. Conclusion: The coccidian entomopathogen presented in this study is the first Adeleid coccidian record from P. interpunctella populations in Türkiye. The detection of Adelina mesnili Perez (Coccidia: Adeleidae) in at least three populations and the infection rate reaching 29.2 percent, confirms that this pathogen has a considerable effect P. interpunctella populations that cannot be underestimated. Our results confirm that the coccidian pathogen is very effective in the larval stage.