The ovicidal efficacy of two entomopathogenic hyphomycetes fungi—Metarhizium anisopliae variety acridum (M. an. ac.) Driver and Milner (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) and Metarhizium anisopliae variety anisopliae (M. an. an.) (Metschn.) Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae)—was evaluated against eggs of three tick species (Acari: Ixodidae)—Hyalomma excavatum (Koch), Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus (Say), and Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Latereille)—by placing eggs, laid by surface-sterilized females, on conidia-impregnated filter paper. Although M. an. an. strains differed in their virulence to the tested ticks, they reduced the hatching percentages of eggs of all three tick species to 0–32% compared with 80–90% in the control eggs. The M. an. ac. strains were found highly virulent to H. excavatum and R. sanguineus eggs, reducing the hatching percentages to 2–6% but had no influence on hatching of R. annulatus eggs. Older tick eggs were more susceptible to fungal infection than newly laid ones. The effects of polar and nonpolar lipid fractions, extracted from the surface of tick eggs, on the development of conidia were tested. Both germination of M. an. an. conidia and formation of appressoria were stimulated by extracts from egg cuticles of all three tested tick species. However, the stimulating effect was lower when the conidia were exposed to lipids from relatively less susceptible R. annulatus eggs than when exposed to lipids from H. excavatum or R. sanguineus eggs. Unlike those of M. an. an., conidia of M. an. ac. exposed to such lipid extracts did not germinate and did not form appressoria.
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