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Impact of Different Bacillus thuringiensis Variety israelensis Treatments on a Chironomid (Diptera Chironomidae) Community in a Temporary Marsh

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Bacillus thuringiensis variety israelensis is a selective biological insecticide for control of mosquito and black fly larvae and has little or no effect on nontarget organisms. Its impact on the structure of lentic communities, however, has rarely been tested in the field. Chironomid larvae were sampled in a control zone (0 mg B. thuringiensis/liter) and in a treated enclosure (1.6 mg/liter) on 5 sampling dates. The emergence of adults also was studied at 4 treatments—0, 1.6, 3.3, and 6.7 mg/liter. One week after treatment with 1.6 mg B. thuringiensis/liter, chironomid larval density decreased by 38%. Treatment with B. thuringiensis affected the emergence of sampled chironomids. Ten days after treatment, Polypedilum nubifer (Skuse) was the only sampled organism which increased in relative abundance. P. nubifer represented >75% of the emerging adults.

Keywords: Bacillus thuringiensis variety israelensis; Chironomidae; community; lentic waters; nontarget insects; toxicity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1999

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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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