Lethal and sublethal effects of spirotetramat and abamectin on predatory beetles (Menochilus sexmaculatus) via prey (Agonoscena pistaciae) exposure, important for integrated pest management in pistachio orchards

Fahimeh Azod, Shahnaz Shahidi-Noghabi, Kamran Mahdian, Guy Smagghe


Menochilus sexmaculatus Fabricius (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is an important biological control agent in pistachio orchards, especially against Agonoscena pistaciae Burckhardt and Lauterer (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), which is the most damaging pest of pistachio. In this project we exposed M. sexmaculatus adults to two important commonly-used insecticides through feeding on treated prey (A. pistaciae) to evaluate the side-effects on this predator. We tested spirotetramat, which belongs to the keto-enol group inhibiting lipid biosynthesis in insects, at 2/1, 1/1 and 1/2 of the maximum field recommended concentration (MFRC), and abamectin, which is a mixture of avermectins and a natural fermentation product of the bacterium Streptomyces avermitilis, at 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 and 1/16 of its MFRC. Spirotetramat did not affect adult survival of M. sexmaculatus at all three concentrations when ingested via treated prey, while in marked contrast abamectin caused 100% adult mortality of M. sexmaculatus when ingested via treated prey at 1/1, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8 of the MFRC. At sublethal levels, spirotetramat reduced total and daily fecundity of M. sexmaculatus at all three concentrations tested, but did not affect egg hatching at 1/1 and 1/2 of the MFRC. Moreover, prey consumption was decreased when beetles were exposed to the prey treated with spirotetramat at 1/1 and 2/1 of the MFRC concentrations. With abamectin, even at 1/16 of the MFRC, total fecundity, daily fecundity and prey consumption of M. sexmaculatus adults were significantly affected. In conclusion, no acute toxicity was observed on M. sexmaculatus by ingestion of prey treated with spirotetramat, although reproduction parameters and prey consumption were affected at MFRC and lower concentrations. In marked contrast, abamectin was notably very harmful at its MFRC and also at lower concentrations. This research highlighted the importance of toxicity risk assessments, including lethal and sublethal effects, to obtain a more accurate estimation of the compatibility of insecticides in current integrated pest management (IPM) programs.


abamectin; Agonoscena pistaciae; Menochilus sexmaculatus; predators; spirotetramat; sublethal effects

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26496/bjz.2016.46


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