Selective toxicity of some pesticides to Pullus mediterraneus Fabr. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a predator of Saissetia oleae Bern. (Homoptera: Coccoideae)
• To contribute to the development of IPM strategies in olive groves, the selectivity of several insecticides to Pullus mediterraneus Fabr. (Coleoptera: coccinellidae) was investigated in the laboratory. The study assessed the toxicity of seven chemical pesticides and one bacteriological insecticide to adult P. mediterraneus.
• The LC50 was estimated by applying the pesticides on the dorsal side of adults. Lambda-cyhalothrin, methomyl and cypermethrin resulted in the highest toxicity followed, in decreasing order of toxicity, by malathion, fenthion and dimethoate. Parathion had the least effect on the coccinellid.
• Consumption of Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria (applied as a commercial formulation), over a period of 10 consecutive days, resulted in low mortality of adult P. mediterraneus.
• The results of these laboratory experiments indicate that the most widely used chemical pesticides were toxic to P. mediterraneus. Their use in olive groves must take account of the activity period of this predator. In contrast, B. thuringiensis seemed to be a suitable candidate to be included in pest management systems.