Lethal and sublethal effects of spirotetramat on the mealybug destroyer, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri
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Spirotetramat is a new systemic insecticide listed in Group 23 of the IRAC mode-of-action classification scheme as an inhibitor of lipid biosynthesis. Side effects assessment on key natural enemies is necessary before incorporating a pesticide in IPM programs. Herein, lethal and sublethal side effects of spirotetramat on adults and larvae of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) were evaluated under laboratory conditions by topical application and by ingestion of treated individuals of Planococcus citri Risso (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). The lethal and sublethal effects of spirotetramat were compared to those of chlorpyriphos and pyriproxyfen, two insecticides commonly used in Spanish citrus. Spirotetramat resulted harmless: (1) when directly applied on larvae and adults of C. montrouzieri, since it did not affect survival, longevity, fecundity, egg hatching, and offspring survival. In contrast, chlorpyriphos was classified as moderately toxic for adults due to its effects on fecundity, egg hatching and offspring survival. Pyriproxyfen was classified as harmful for larvae due to the acute effect on pupal mortality. When larvae and adults of C. montrouzieri were fed with treated prey, spirotetramat was also classified as harmless. Adults of C. montrouzieri fed with pyriproxyfen-treated prey exhibited increased fecundity but no eggs hatched. Moreover, the larvae fed on pyriproxyfen-treated prey did not reach the adult stage. The results of this study indicate that spirotetramat may be compatible with augmentative releases of C. montrouzieri in citrus.