The susceptibility of western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, larvae to nine insecticides from five different classes and to Bt proteins eCry3.1Ab and mCry3A in the presence or absence of feeding stimulants, was estimated in filter paper and diet toxicity assays, respectively. The use of a synthetic feeding stimulant blend of the sugars glucose, sucrose, and fructose plus linoleic acid at a ratio of 30:4:4:0.3 mg/ml of distilled water was evaluated to determine whether they increase the efficacy of insecticides and Bt proteins. The efficacy of thiamethoxam diluted in solutions with feeding stimulants was significantly increased when compared to thiamethoxam dilutions in water (>60-fold). Differences in the efficacy of the other insecticide classes when diluted in feeding stimulant solutions were no greater than fivefold when compared to the insecticides diluted in water. The presence of corn root juice as a natural feeding stimulant diminished toxicity of the insecticides, except for thiamethoxam, even though larval fresh weight was higher when fed on root juice compared to feeding stimulant or water. The use of feeding stimulants in diet toxicity assays did not enhance efficacy of eCry3.1Ab nor mCry3A proteins. Feeding stimulants can be recommended in combination with thiamethoxam to increase larval mortality. These results are discussed in terms of applicability of feeding stimulants to improve susceptibility of western corn rootworm larvae to pesticides in general.
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Vol. 112 • No. 2