, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 651-661
Date: 24 Mar 2009

Lethal and sub-lethal effects of insecticides on natural enemies of citrus scale pests

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Laboratory trials were conducted to test the side-effects of the insecticides chlorpyrifos-methyl, buprofezin, pyriproxifen, spinosad and a narrow range mineral oil on Aphytis melinus DeBach, Coccophagus lycimnia Walker (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) and Leptomastix dactylopii Howard (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae). The effects of chlorpyrifos-methyl, spinosad and pyriproxifen were also investigated in semi-field conditions on L. dactylopii. Contact toxicity on adult female parasitoids after 24, 48 and 72 h, the effects on their fertility as well as the sex ratio of the progeny were measured. In the laboratory trials chlorpyrifos-methyl and spinosad caused 100% mortality on all tested parasitoids just 24 h after the treatment. According to the IOBC classification, the mineral oil was slightly harmful on L. dactylopii; buprofezin was harmful on C. lycimnia, and slightly harmful on L. dactylopii and A. melinus; pyriproxifen resulted moderately harmful on C. lycimnia and slightly harmful on L. dactylopii and A. melinus. The progeny production of each L. dactylopii surviving female treated with buprofezin was not affected by the treatment while in the case of A. melinus it was significantly reduced. C. lycimnia females treated with pyriproxifen did not produce any progeny. In semi-field conditions the tested insecticides were less harmful to L. dactylopii adults but, although none of them influenced the progeny production of the survived females, the longevity was negatively affected.

Handling Editor: Helen Roy.
The Authors equally contributed to the work which was partially funded by the University of Catania in the framework of the Research Project “Ricerche su insetti entomofagi in ambiente mediterraneo”.
This research started in the framework of a research project on citriculture supported by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture.