The action of Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae and Metarhizium anisopliae var. acridum on the mound termite Nasutitermes coxipoensis (Holmgren) and the conidia production on dead insects were studied in laboratory. Infective doses were determined through direct contact of the insects with the fungi cultures with 12 days of growth followed by conidia quantification in Neübauer camera. The doses of 0.5 x 10(6) and 1.6 x 10(7) conidia/ml of M. anisopliae var. anisopliae, and 1.4 x 10(5) e 1.8 x 10(6) conidia/ml of M. anisopliae var. acridum were named dose A and dose B, for each fungus, respectively. These doses corresponded to 3-min and 15-min direct contact of 20 insects with the fungi cultures. Conidia production was evaluated using the insects inoculated with fungi. The bioassays were carried out in triplicate. The percentage of accumulated mortality of N. coxipoensis treated with M. anisopliae var. anisopliae on the third day after inoculation were: control, 15.7%; dose A 95.7% and dose B 100%; for M. anisopliae var. acridum: control, 13.3%; dose A 66.4% and dose B 88,8%. The average of conidia production was higher for M. anisopliae var. anisopliae than M.anisopliae var. acridum. The results showed that M. anisopliae var. anisopliae presented better potential for the biological control of N. coxipoensis.
Biological control; insect pathogen; microbial control; termite