Acetamiprid and imidacloprid are two important neonicotinoid insecticides that are widely utilized under field conditions for the management of sucking insect pests, including the solenopsis mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). Although some information is available regarding their lethal effects, nothing is currently known about the sublethal effects of these insecticides. We, therefore, performed a series of experiments to test the lethal and sublethal effects of these chemicals on oviposition duration and fecundity. We also assessed sublethal effects on feeding behavior using the electrical penetration graph (EPG) technique. The results of this study reveal that acetamiprid toxicity is higher than imidacloprid and that both insecticides have negative effects on the oviposition, fecundity, and feeding behavior of P. solenopsis when applied at sublethal dosages. These chemicals also significantly reduce oviposition duration and fecundity and significantly prolong nonprobing duration, increase penetration problems, and reduce phloem and xylem feeding activities when compared with adults exposed to just water. No significant differences were detected in all waveform durations and events when adults previously exposed to foliage treated with each of these two insecticides were compared. The results of this study, therefore, suggest that both insecticides are capable of protecting crops from mealybug damage by not only killing these pests directly but also reducing their fecundity and inhibiting feeding behaviors when applied at sublethal dosages.
Journal of Economic Entomology
Vol. 112 • No. 3
Vol. 112 • No. 3
electrical penetration graph (EPG)