Differential impacts of six insecticides on a mealybug and its coccinellid predator
Abstract Broad-spectrum insecticides may disrupt biological control and cause pest resurgence due to their negative impacts on natural enemies. The preservation of sustainable pest control in agroecosystems requires parallel assessments of insecticide toxicity to target pests and their key natural enemies. In the present study, the leaf dipping method was used to evaluate the relative toxicity of six insecticides to the striped mealybug, Ferrisia dasylirii (Cockerell) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) and its predator, Tenuisvalvae notata (Mulsant) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Three neurotoxic insecticides, lambda-cyhalothrin, methidathion and thiamethoxam, caused complete mortality of both pest and predator when applied at their highest field rates. In contrast, lufenuron, pymetrozine and pyriproxyfen caused moderate mortality of third-instar mealybug nymphs, and exhibited low or no toxicity to either larvae or adults of the lady beetle. At field rates, lufenuron and pymetrozine had negligible effects on prey consumption, development or reproduction of T. notata , but adults failed to emerge from pupae when fourth instar larvae were exposed to pyriproxyfen. In addition, pyriproxyfen caused temporary sterility; T. notata females laid non-viable eggs for three days after exposure, but recovered egg fertility thereafter. Our results indicate that the three neurotoxic insecticides can potentially control F. dasylirii , but are hazardous to its natural predator. In contrast, lufenuron and pymetrozine appear compatible with T. notata , although they appear less effective against the mealybug. Although the acute toxicity of pyriproxyfen to T. notata was low, some pupal mortality and reduced egg fertility suggest that this material could impede the predator's numerical response to mealybug populations. Highlights Neurotoxic insecticides killed both mealybug nymphs and Tenuisvalvae notata adults. Lufenuron and pymetrozine caused moderate mortality of mealybug and its predator. Lufenuron, pymetrozine and pyriproxyfen exhibited low impact on prey consumption. Pyriproxyfen did not affect lady beetle pupation but inhibited pupal metamorphosis. Pyriproxyfen caused temporary sterility of contaminated T. notata females. Graphical abstract [DISPLAY OMISSION]
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