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Relative effects of the insecticide thiamethoxam on the predator Podisus nigrispinus and the tobacco whitefly Bemisia tabaci in nectaried and nectariless cotton

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The predaceous stinkbug Podisus nigrispinus (Dallas) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) feeds on plants as well as on arthropod prey. The question arises whether feeding on plants might expose the predator to systemic insecticide via ingestion of the active ingredient or its metabolites through plant sap of treated plants. This interaction was investigated with nectaried and nectariless cotton plants cropped in pots and treated with the systemic insecticide thiamethoxam at 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 mg per plant as a root drench. Development of P nigrispinus fed on prey and on treated nectaried and nectariless cotton plants and confined at 15, 30 and 45 days after insecticide application, and adult reproduction from nymphs caged 30 days after treatment were determined. Podisus nigrispinus life history traits were unaffected by the type of cotton plant, nectaried or nectariless, but were significantly affected by insecticide dose and time after application. Developmental time was extended and fresh adult body weight was reduced by feeding on prey and treated plants. Nymphs caged on treated plants with the highest thiamethoxam concentration at 15 days after application produced only 13.2% of adults. Females emerged from nymphs caged on both plants and at all thiamethoxam concentrations at day 30 after application presented similar reproductive characteristics, except for age of first oviposition, which was delayed on plants treated with the highest thiamethoxam concentration. Thiamethoxam at 0.5 mg per plant restrained tobacco whitefly, Bemisia tabaci Gennadius (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) colonization only during the first 15 days after application to either cotton plant, and similar immature densities were sampled at day 35 after application on treated and untreated plants. However, plants treated with 1.0 and 2.0 mg per plant as a drench and cropped in pots were protected from tobacco whitefly for up to 45 days after exposure to a whitefly colony.

© 2003 Society of Chemical Industry

Keywords: Asopinae; Bemisa tabaci; Podsisus nigrispinus; neonicotinoid insecticides; phytophagy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Entomology, University of Georgia. Athens, GA 30602-2603, USA 2: DEPA-Fitossanidade, Universidade Federal Rural de Pemambuco. Av Dom Manoel de Medeiros S/N - Dois Irmaos 52171-900 Recife, PE, Brazil

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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