The species is named after the Italian entomologist Agostino Bassi, who discovered it in 1835 as the cause of the muscardine disease of domesticated silkworms. It was formerly also known as Tritirachium shiotae. The name B. bassiana has long been used to describe a species complex of morphologically similar and closely related isolates. Rehner and Buckley  have shown that B. bassiana consists of many distinct lineages that should be recognized as distinct phylogenetic species and the genus Beauveria was redescribed with a proposed type for B. bassiana in 2011. In light of this work and the known existence of cryptic species, it is important to characterise isolates used to develop biological insecticides.
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