Charles F. Reichelderfer, 53, an entomologist at the University of Maryland at College Park and an authority on diseases of insects, died Aug. 24 at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Adelaide, Australia, of injuries he received in a traffic accident on Aug. 20.

Colleagues at the University of Maryland said Dr. Reichelderfer was crossing a street near his hotel when he was struck by an automobile.

He was in Adelaide to attend a meeting of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology, of which he was the treasurer-elect.

An associate professor who had taught at Maryland since 1968, Dr. Reichelderfer had developed a number of bacterial and viral diseases of insects that are now commonly used to control pest insects such as the gypsy moth.

Much of his work was done at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.

In addition to teaching and doing research, Dr. Reichelderfer had been a Fulbright fellow at Oxford University in England.

He published 40 papers in professional journals, contributed chapters to three books and delivered about 30 lectures to learned societies.

A resident of University Park, Dr. Reichelderfer was born in Wadena, Minn.

After graduating from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn., he received a master's degree in microbial genetics from the University of Washington and a doctorate in entomology from the University of California at Riverside.

He moved to the Washington area in 1968.

In addition to the Society of Invertebrate Pathology, he was a member of the Entomological Society of America, Sigma Xi, the Honorary Scientific Society, the Berwyn Rod and Gun Club and the ARC Gun Club at the Beltsville agricultural facility.

Survivors include his wife, Katherine "Kitty" Reichelderfer of University Park, and two sisters, Cynnthia Reichelderfer of Rockville and Elaine Robinson of Grand Prairie, Tex.