On Reunion Island successful biological control of the sugarcane white grub Hoplochelus marginalis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Melolonthidae) has been conducted for decades with strains from the entomopathogenic fungal genus Beauveria (Ascomycota: Hypocreales). A study based on morphological characters combined with a multisequence phylogenetic analysis of genes that encode the translation elongation factor 1-alpha (TEF1), RNA polymerase II largest subunit (RPB1), RNA polymerase II second largest subunit (RPB2) and the Bloc nuc intergenic region was carried out on Beauveria strains isolated on Reunion and Madagascar from H. marginalis. This study revealed that these strains, previously identified as Beauveria brongniartii, did not match that species and are closely related to but still distinct from B. malawiensis strains. Therefore we describe the Reunion Island fungus as the new species B. hoplocheli.
Keywords: Ascomycete; entomopathogenic fungus; phylogeny; white grub.
© 2015 by The Mycological Society of America.