Date: 14 Jun 2014

Sublethal effects of chlorantraniliprole and thiamethoxam seed treatments when Lysiphlebus testaceipes feed on sunflower extrafloral nectar

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Abstract

The extrafloral nectar (EFN) of sunflower, Helianthus annuus L., is an important summer resource for many insects and represents a potential route of exposure to systemic insecticides applied as seed treatments to cultivated varieties. Among the many parasitoids that utilize sunflower EFN, Lysiphlebus testaceipes (Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) is an important generalist parasitoid of cereal aphids in North America. This study evaluated the performance of adult wasps fed EFN of sunflower plants grown from seed treated with chlorantraniliprole and thiamethoxam. Consumption of EFN from treated sunflower seedings caused no lethal effects, but reduced the numbers of greenbug nymphs, Schizaphis graminum Rondani, attacked and parasitized when wasps foraged in Petri dish arenas. Whereas control females self-superparasitized every fourth host, those exposed to chlorantraniliprole did not. Offspring developmental time and adult emergence were unaffected by either treatment, but thiamethoxam greatly reduced the proportion of female offspring.

Handling Editor: Stefano Colazza.