Previous studies into third trophic level exposure of Chrysoperla spp. (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) to Cry1Ab proteins produced by Bt crops yielded contradicting results. These contradictions were largely ascribed to differences in prey quality and exposure methods. In this study, we used healthy prey to expose lacewing larvae to Cry1Ab protein produced by Bt maize, and also determined the concentration of this protein at different trophic levels. Experiments were conducted in which Chrysoperla pudica (Navás) larvae were fed different diets which included aphids and healthy Bt-resistant Busseola fusca (Fuller) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae feeding on Bt maize tissue. Lacewing larval and pupal development times as well as overall mortality were determined. The concentration of Cry1Ab protein in B. fusca larvae were fourfold reduced compared with that in leaf tissue and was below detection level in lacewing larvae. Survival to the pupal stage was higher than 96% in all treatments. Larval and pupal development periods did not differ significantly between treatments in which prey fed on Bt or non-Bt maize. This study showed feeding on healthy prey that consumed Cry1Ab protein has no adverse effect on the biology of C. pudica.
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Vol. 46 • No. 2