Copyright 1996-2002
by David W. Onstad

thromboides on aphidCPV on Heterocampa guttivittaNematode in mosquito larvascarab larva infected with Paenibacillus popillaespores of
Vairimorpha lymantriae
Click on photos for captions and credits.


Ecological Database of the
orld's Insect Pathogens

What's New at EDWIP
Our Mission
Why Ecological?
Some Definitions
Use Policy


Search Tips
Database Structure

Submit Data to EDWIP
Data Entry Protocols



Other Resources

Welcome to EDWIP

The Ecological Database of the World's Insect Pathogens (EDWIP) offers information on fungi, viruses, protozoa, mollicutes, nematodes, and bacteria* that are infectious in insects, mites, and related arthropods. Data in EDWIP include associations (or lack thereof) between pathogenic organisms and insect, mite, and other arthropod hosts. EDWIP also includes information on where associations have been observed, stages and tissues of hosts infected, and habitats and host ranges of the arthropod hosts. Association and nonassociation data in EDWIP are supported by bibliographic citations. All areas of the database are searchable.

EDWIP is directed by David W. Onstad (onstad@uiuc.edu)

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

University of Illinois

Center for Economic Entomology

Illinois Natural History Survey




What's New at EDWIP

We have updated the search interface for EDWIP. The new interface takes advantage of the relational structure of EDWIP to show related data. For example, when you search the Host Classification and Ecology file, you can view summary records of all associations and negative test results for each host in EDWIP. The Search Tips page contains basic instructions for searching EDWIP.


Host species:


Pathogen species (includes bacteria, fungi, mollicutes, nematodes, protozoa, and viruses):


Nonviral Pathogen Associations:


Nematode Associations:


Virus Associations:


Negative Test Results:





  • Zoogeographic regions. We have added zoographic regions for field observations of host-pathogen associations. The regions we use are Afrotropical, Australian, Nearctic, Neotropical, Oceanic, Oriental, Palearctic, following the scope of these terms as declared in the Zoological Record thesaurus. This is intended to give users a quick summary of the geographic distributions of associations in EDWIP.
  • Indexes. We have added indexes of terms used in some text fields to assist users in constructing searches. Fields for which indexes are available are country of observation, tissues infected, host habitat, and host food.
  • Guestbook. Please sign in and tell us what you think. You may also use the guestbook to report any problems you have accessing EDWIP or to report any errors you observe in the data.
  • Web Data Submission. Web forms allow users to submit new data electronically. Please help keep EDWIP current by submitting new associations and negative test results. Submissions will not be available for searching instantaneously, but will be added during regular updates.
  • Photos. We've replaced our old graphic with actual photos of sick insects!

We are continuing to upgrade EDWIP, and as new features are added, we will announce them here. If you have comments or suggestions that will help us make EDWIP a better resource, please let us know by leaving a comment in our Guestbook.




Our Mission

The information provided in EDWIP is intended, primarily, to help achieve two practical goals:

1) improving and expanding microbial control of arthropod pests, and

2) assessing potential risks posed by microbial control agents.

In addition, EDWIP was created to serve the insect pathology and entomology communities. If adequately supported, EDWIP can be expected to represent the state of knowledge of insect-pathogen associations, and will serve as a catalyst for future research. You can support EDWIP is by submitting your data (either via our web data submission forms, or by sending us citations, reprints, etc.). It is our hope that new research programs will be developed by using EDWIP to identify patterns in pathogen-host associations or gaps in the knowledge of host-pathogen relationships.



Why "Ecological?"

Ecological data in EDWIP include information on habitat, food, and generations completed per year for the host organisms. Furthermore, this term helps the user understand why certain subjects are excluded from the database. The focus is on information that can help the user deal with or solve ecological problems.



Host Range and Host Association Definitions

A host range is the set of species that allow survival and reproduction of a pathogen. The ecological host range is the current, yet evolving, set of species with which a parasite naturally forms symbioses, resulting in viable parasite offspring (Onstad and McManus 1996). Physiological host range is based solely on laboratory observations of infection and propagule production. Species identified as hosts in the laboratory may not be hosts in the field (Federici and Maddox 1996). In nature, a potential host and pathogen may not form a symbiotic relationship because the two species may not occur coincidentally in time and space or because natural behaviors may prevent contact. Changes in a pathogen's spatial distribution, such as its emigration to a new continent or its transportation by humans to a new habitat do not guarantee a successful symbiosis or expansion of its host range. Host shifts are also possible at sites where the pathogen is already established (Secord and Kareiva 1996). These scenarios represent some of the dynamics of host range evolution.

An association between a pathogen and an insect exists when the host is infected in the laboratory or in the field by the pathogen and infectious propagules are produced. When infection has been attempted but not observed, then no association exists.

For virus studies in which molecular identification techniques are not used, it may be difficult to determine whether cross infection or activation of latent virus is occurring in a host range test (McKinley et al. 1981). Thus, the user should be cautious in interpreting associations recorded from old laboratory studies of viruses.


Use Policy

All are welcome to use the data in EDWIP for noncommercial research and educational purposes. If data from EDWIP are used, acknowledgement is requested. Please use this format for citing EDWIP:

Onstad, D.W. EDWIP: Ecological Database of the World's Insect Pathogens. Champaign, Illinois: Illinois Natural History Survey, [day/month/year of use]. http://insectweb.inhs.uiuc.edu/Pathogens/EDWIP


*Because of the tremendous volume of information available on the bacterial pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis, we have excluded this species from EDWIP. For informaton on Bt, see the Canadian Forest Service's Bt Toxin Specificity Database.

Text pages last updated : December 2002 -- SMB
Data Last Updated : December2002 -- SMB

Accessed Access Counter times since July 1 2004