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Selectivity of Insecticides That Kill the Potato Leafhopper (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) and Alfalfa Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and Protect the Parasite Microctonus aethiopoides Loan (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)

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Insecticide sprays directed at the potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae (Harris), conflict with the life cycle of Microctonus aethiopoides Loan, a parasite of the alfalfa weevil Hypera postica (Gyllenhal). Insecticides selective for potato leafhoppers would favor survival of the parasite in its weevil host. In the laboratory, methoxychlor was most selective for the potato leafhopper, followed in decreasing order by carbophenothion, acephate, and dimethoate. Dosages with maximum selectivity were also identified in field tests. Methoxychlor exhibited highest selectivity, followed by acephate, carbophenothion, and dimethoate. Selectivity for the potato leafhopper was severely reduced using the manufacturer's recommended dosage. The dosage of each insecticide that resulted in >95% mortality of potato leafhoppers in the field, but low mortality of the alfalfa weevil, was identified as a management-selective dosage. Management selectivity was highest for acephate, followed by methoxychlor, carbophenothion, and dimethoate. This dosage always exceeded that which provided maximum selectivity. The cost/selectivity relationships are expressed for the various insecticides.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1984

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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