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Effect of intercropping cowpea with maize on the performance of Metarhizium anisopliae against Megalurothrips sjostedti (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and predators

Ekesi, S., Maniania, N.K., Ampong-Nyarko, K., Onu, I.
Environmental entomology 1999 v.28 no.6 pp. 1154-1161
Zea mays, Vigna unguiculata, intercropping, insect control, biological control, Metarhizium anisopliae, mortality, chemical control, lambda-cyhalothrin, Megalurothrips sjostedti, population density, crop damage, predatory insects, crop yield, nontarget organisms, flowering, fruiting, pods, field experimentation, continuous cropping, predators, adverse effects, Kenya
Field experiments were conducted to assess the combined effects of intercropping cowpea with maize and the application of Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorok. or synthetic insecticide on the density of Megalurothrips sjostedti (Trybom) and the yield of cowpea. Thrips density and damage were significantly lower in the intercrop treated with fungus than in the control plots. Mortality caused by mycosis was significantly higher in cowpea intercrop than in the monocrop. Flower and pod production were significantly higher within the intercrop treated with M. anisopliae than in the monocrop also treated with fungus. In both seasons, grain yields in the cowpea intercrop treated with M. anisopliae did not differ from yields within cowpea intercrop treated with Karate (Lambda-cyhalothrin). M. anisopliae had no adverse effect on populations of nontarget organisms. Our results suggest that M. anisopliae is a promising candidate for the management of M. sjostedti, especially within a cowpea/maize intercropping systems.