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Potential of Selective Insecticides for Managing Uraba lugens (Lepidoptera: Nolidae) on Eucalypts

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The leaf skeletonizer Uraba lugens Walker (Lepidoptera: Nolidae), an Australian species, locally known as “gumleaf skeletonizer,” is well established in New Zealand. This insect has the potential to become a serious pest of forestry and amenity eucalypts (Eucalyptus spp.) and is the focus of a long-term management program. The use of synthetic chemical or biological insecticides is one possible control method within an integrated control program. A series of dose–response trials were conducted using laboratory bioassays to test the efficacy of several insecticides against U. lugens: pyrethroids, spinosad, Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki Berliner (Btk) and an insect growth regulator, Mimic. Pyrethroids and spinosad proved highly effective against U. lugens larvae, achieving 100% mortality after 3–6-d exposure. The performance of Btk was lower against gregarious skeletonizing larvae compared with solitary chewing larvae. When good coverage of the target foliage is achieved, >90% mortality is possible with Btk. Mimic performed poorly against U. lugens compared with other insecticides tested (<60% mortality). The Eucalyptus species on which larvae were feeding significantly altered insecticide efficacy. Treatments applied to Eucalyptus nitens (Deane & Maiden) Maiden had reduced efficacy compared with E. cinerea F. Muell. ex Benth. or E. fastigata Deane & Maiden. Cooler temperatures also reduced insecticide efficacy, presumably by decreasing movement and food consumption by U. lugens. Recommendations on spray applications to control U. lugens in New Zealand are given.

Keywords: Btk; Eucalyptus; Mimic; Uraba lugens; spinosad

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-99.3.780

Publication date: June 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • 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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