The first objective was laboratory evaluation of the virulence of 53 Mexican isolates of fungi against larvae of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus. Thirty-three isolates of Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae (Metschnickoff) Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) and 20 isolates of Isaria (Paecilomyces) fumosorosea (fumosoroseus) (Wize) (Eurotiales: Trichomaceae) were tested on 7-day-old larvae under laboratory conditions. Larvae were immersed in a suspension containing 108conidia/mL and the CL50 values were estimated. Then, field tests were conducted to determine the efficacy of formulations of the isolate with the highest virulence. M. anisopliae (Ma 14 isolate) was formulated with four carriers: Tween, Celite, wheat bran, and Citroline (mineral oil) and applied on pasture beds of Cynodon plectostachyus (L.), at a dose of 2×109CFU/m2. In the first trial, M. anisopliae was applied on plots naturally infested with larvae; in the second trial, tick populations in the experimental plots were eliminated and then re-infested with 20,000 7-day-old larvae. In the laboratory, all M. anisopliae isolates infected larvae with a mortality range between 2 and 100%; also, 13 of 20 I. fumosorosea isolates caused mortality rates between 7 and 94%. In the first field trial, 14 days post-application, conidial formulations in Celite and wheat bran caused 67.8 and 94.2% population reduction, respectively. In the second trial, the Tween formulation caused the highest larval reduction, reaching up to 61% (28 days post-application). Wheat bran formulation caused 58.3% larval reduction (21 days post-application) and was one of the most effective. The carriers and emulsifiers have a large impact on the effectiveness of conidial formulations.
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