A Comparison of Resistance to Imidacloprid in Colorado Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say) Populations Collected in the Northwest and Midwest U.S.


The Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say, is a serious pest of potato, Solanum tuberosum L., worldwide. Leptinotarsa decemlineata has a history of repeated adaptation to insecticides, and exhibits a geographic pattern of decreasing insecticide resistance from east to west in the USA. Imidacloprid is one of the most widely used insecticide in western states. In this study, we measured imidacloprid resistance among larval and adult L. decemlineata from ten locations in the Columbia Basin (southeastern Washington and northeastern Oregon) using topical LD50 bioassays, and compared them to estimates from ten locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Larval and adult imidacloprid LD50’s and mean percent mortality were generally lowest in Washington and Oregon, but some sites exhibited reductions in mortality comparable to those observed at some Wisconsin sites. Adult LD50’s suggest L. decemlineata in the Columbia Basin may be evolving in response to selection by neonicotinoid insecticides, but larval data suggest high susceptibility to imidacloprid remains in most populations. Future work should expand resistance monitoring efforts to include more regions in the West and other insecticide modes of action.


El escarabajo de la papa de Colorado, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say, es una plaga seria de la papa, Solanum tuberosum L. en el mundo. Leptinotarsa decemlineata tiene una historia de adaptación repetida a los insecticidas, y exhibe un patrón geográfico de disminución de resistencia a insecticidas del este al oeste de los Estados Unidos. Imidacloprid es uno de los insecticidas más ampliamente usados en los estados del oeste. En este estudio, medimos la susceptibilidad a imidacloprid entre larvas y adultos de L. decemlineata de diez localidades en la rivera del Columbia (sureste de Washington y noreste de Oregon), usando bioensayos tópicos LD 50, y los comparamos con estimaciones de diez localidades en Minnesota y Wisconsin. Las LD50’s de imidacloprid en larvas y adultos y el porcentaje promedio de mortalidad fueron generalmente más bajos en la rivera del Columbia, pero algunos sitios exhibieron reducciones en mortalidad comparable a aquellos observados en algunos sitios de Wisconsin. Las LD50’s de adultos sugieren que L. decemlineata en la rivera del Columbia pudiera estar evolucionando en respuesta a selección por insecticidas a base de neonicotinoides, pero los datos de las larvas sugieren alta susceptibilidad a los residuos de imidacloprid en la mayoría de las poblaciones. Trabajos futuros deberían expandir los esfuerzos de monitoreo de la resistencia para incluir más regiones en el oeste y otros modos de acción de insecticidas.

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We thank the editor and ### anonymous reviewers for providing helpful critique of this manuscript. We thank growers in Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin for cooperation with this study; and Ira Thompson and Sudeep Bag from the Irrigated Agricultural Entomology Rondon Program at Oregon State University Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center for assistance sampling in the Columbia Basin. Funding for this project was provided by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School, Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, and USDA Hatch Act Formula Fund (#WIS01813).

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Correspondence to Michael S. Crossley.

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Crossley, M.S., Rondon, S.I. & Schoville, S.D. A Comparison of Resistance to Imidacloprid in Colorado Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say) Populations Collected in the Northwest and Midwest U.S.. Am. J. Potato Res. 95, 495–503 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12230-018-9654-0

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  • Control
  • Insecticide resistance
  • LD50
  • Neonicotinoid
  • Management
  • Potato