Metarhizium flavoviride, a fungal pathogen of grasshoppers and locusts, appears to be an effective, non-chemical insecticide (mycoinsecticide) for control of grasshoppers and locusts. This study, conducted during June and July, 1997, examined the pathogenic potential of this entomopathogenic fungus to non-target avian species that encounter infected insect prey items or contaminated food sources. Ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) chicks were exposed to one of three diets, (spore-coated feed, infected insects, or untreated feed), either from 4 to 9 days of age, or, from 35 to 40 days of age. Necropsies were conducted on birds 10 days and 46 days old, respectively. Neither consumption of infected insects, nor of spore-coated feed, resulted in pathological changes, or significant changes in weight, growth rate, behavior, or mortality rate. Histological examination of organs indicated either no changes related to treatment, or normal tissue responses to antigenic challenge.

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