Silva Balcanica 22(3): 17-27, doi: 10.3897/silvabalcanica.22.e78600
Biological control of gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) by the entomopathogenic fungus Entomophaga maimaiga in Bulgaria in 2021
expand article infoGeorgi Georgiev, Plamen Mirchev, Margarita Georgieva, Mihail Kechev, Sevdalin Belilov, Maria Matova, Vyara Petrova, Petya Mateva§, Maria Kirilova|, Ilian Mutafchiiski
‡ Forest Research Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria§ Executive Forests Agency, Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria| Forest Protection Station, Varna, Varna, Bulgaria¶ Forest Protection Station, Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria
Open Access
In 2021, biological control programme against gipsy moth (Lymantria dispar) populations was carried out by introduction of the entomopathogenic fungus Entomophaga maimaiga on the territory of four State Forest Enterprises: Municipal Enterprise (ME) ‘Management of Municipal Forests, Agriculture and Forestry’, Nessebar; State Game Enterprises (SGE) Nessebar and Balchik; State Forestry (SF) Vidin. The pathogen was introduced during the period 15-26.03.2021 in 34 localities - five in ME Nessebar, eight in SGE Nessebar, ten in SGE Balchik and eleven in SF Vidin. The average number of gypsy moth population density in the locations of introduction was relatively high, ranging between 0.4-15.9 egg mass/tree in the area of ​​SGE Balchik and 11.9-65.0 egg mass/tree in the area of ​​ME Nessebar. The average mortality of young gypsy moth caterpillars (first-third instar) due to E. maimaiga varied between 2.6% (SGE Balchik) and 13.0% (SF Vidin), and of caterpillars in later fourth-sixth instar - between 20.7% (SF Vidin) and 52.4% (ME Nessebar). The overall mortality of the gipsy moth caterpillars due to E. maimaiga was lowest in the region of SGE Balchik (26.1%), followed by SF Vidin (33.7%), SGE Nessebar (48.5%) and ME Nessebar (55.9%). As a result of the introduction, gipsy moth severe outbreaks in the region of Nessebar was significantly suppressed. The high number of E. maimaiga resting spores persists in the surface layers of the soil in the other two areas (Vidin and Balchik) has the potential to suppress L. dispar attacks in next years.
biological control, Lymantria dispar, Entomophaga maimaiga, release