Instituto Internacional de Ecologia, Brazilian Journal of Biology, (82), 2022
Abstract Soils present high fungal diversity, including entomopathogenic species. These fungi are used in pest control, providing easy production, multiplication, application, and dispersion in the field. The objective of the present study was to evaluate entomopathogenic fungal diversity in soils from eucalyptus and soybean crops and natural forest areas. These fungi were isolated using the “Bait Method” with Tenebrio molitor (Linnaeus, 1758) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) larvae from 10 soil samples per area, collected at 10 cm deep in a zig-zag pattern. The isolated entomopathogenic fungi were cultivated in Petri dishes using PDA medium and their mycelia separated after seven days of incubation in a BOD-type chamber. Species of Aspergillus, Beauveria, Cordyceps, Fusarium, Metarhizium, Penicillium and Purpureocillium were identified. The “Bait Method” with T. molitor larvae is efficient to isolate entomopathogenic fungi with higher diversity from soils of the natural forest than the cultivated area.