Compatibility of soil application of Metarhizium brunneum and cover crops against Ceratitis capitata soil‐dwelling stages


Fruit fly ground-dwelling stages (late third instar larvae, pupae, and teneral adults) are susceptible to predation from general-ist ground-dwelling predators and to infection by entomopathogenic fungi (EPF). The effect of predators can be enhanced with cover crops and that of EPF by augmentative releases. However, whether these two biological control methods could be combined has not been studied under field conditions yet. Here, we studied in the field whether the enhanced activity of predators against the medfly, Ceratitis apitata, already observed in a Lolium arundinaceum ground cover could be impaired by a soil application of Metarhizium brunneum. Our results show that C. capitata adult emergence was reduced by this EPF for up to three months after fungal application, with the combination of the cover and M. brunneum being the most effec-tive at reducing C. capitata emergence relative to bare soil (92.5% reduction). Although M. brunneum reduced the activity density of ground-dwelling predatory beetles up to 93 days after application, it showed no clear negative effects on earwigs, no effects on spiders, and a positive effect on ants up to 65 days after application. Therefore, the combined use of a ground cover of L. arundinaceum and M. brunneum against the soil-dwelling stages of C. capitata seems to work synergistically and appears as a strong and sustainable control tactic against the medfly and other fruit orchard pests.

Additional information





Joaquín Cruz‐Miralles, Inmaculada Garrido‐Jurado, Meelad Yousef‐Yousef, M. Victoria Ibáñez‐Gual, Óscar Dembilio, Enrique Quesada‐Moraga, Josep A. Jaques

Publication Date

13 Jan 2024



There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Compatibility of soil application of Metarhizium brunneum and cover crops against Ceratitis capitata soil‐dwelling stages”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *