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Responses of Susceptible and Cyfluthrin-Resistant Broiler House Populations of Lesser Mealworm (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) to γ-Cyhalothrin

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γ-Cyhalothrin was proposed as an agent for management of lesser mealworm, Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), in Australian broiler houses. From 2007 to 2009, baseline susceptibility of 20 Australian broiler farm beetle populations plus an insecticide-susceptible laboratory population was determined for γ-cyhalothrin by using topical application. In addition, repeat testing and regression analyses of specific beetle populations to γ-cyhalothrin showed that topical application was a very reliable and repeatable testing method. The 21 populations were tested with a cyfluthrin discriminating concentration (based on LC99.9, 0.0007% [AI]) to identify possible cross-resistance. Across all populations, there was a significant linear relationship between the γ-cyhalothrin LC50 value and mortality induced by the cyfluthrin LC99.9. Full cyfluthrin baseline studies of seven populations indicated that γ-cyhalothrin was twice as toxic as cyfluthrin, even against susceptible beetles and resistance ratios at the cyfluthrin LC50 and LC99.9 varied considerably, with maxima of 56.6 and 83.6 respectively. Corresponding ratios for γ-cyhalothrin for the same populations were 8.6 (LC50) and 7.9 (LC99.9). There were no significant correlations between beetle weights and γ-cyhalothrin LC50 or LC99.9 values. A discriminating concentration of 0.005% (AI) γ-cyhalothrin was chosen to detect any future changes in susceptibility. Results of this study suggest that cyfluthrin can confer cross-resistance to γ-cyhalothrin in A. diaperinus, but the magnitude of this resistance is unpredictable. Thus, widespread and frequent cyfluthrin use in broiler houses in eastern Australia, which has selected for cyfluthrin resistance, also has resulted in reduced susceptibility to γ-cyhalothrin. Due to its higher relative toxicity, γ-cyhalothrin is still potentially useful for management of lesser mealworm, but due to cross-resistance issues, adoption of γ-cyhalothrin for broiler house use will require a cautious and judicious approach.

Keywords: Alphitobius diaperinus; Australia; darkling beetle; pyrethroid cross-resistance; topical application

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC09403

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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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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