Previous reports indicate that applications of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, can lead to population buildups of twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch, in the field. Moreover, laboratory studies showed enhanced fecundity of T. urticae after an imidacloprid treatment. In this study, experiments were conducted in the greenhouse to investigate the potential effects of imidacloprid and several other neonicotinoid insecticides on fecundity, egg viability, preimaginal survivorship, and sex ratio of T. urticae (German strain WI) on French beans, Phaseolus vulgaris L. Four insecticides, i.e., imidacloprid (Confidor 200SL), thiacloprid (Calypso 480 SC), acetamiprid (Mospilan 70 WP), and thiamethoxam (Actara 25 WG), were tested at field-relevant (100, 120, 125, and 95 ppm) and sublethal doses (10, 12, 12.5, and 9.5 ppm), respectively. Both spray and drench applications were tested. At field-relevant doses, fecundity of T. urticae decreased and was lower in the treatments compared with the untreated control, whereas preimaginal survivorship and proportion of female offspring (i.e., sex ratio) were lower compared with the control. At sublethal doses, no significant differences were found among the treatments. Data on egg viability, preimaginal survivorship, and sex ratio at sublethal doses followed the same trends as at field-relevant doses. In an additional experiment, the metabolism of imidacloprid into monohydroxy-imidacloprid, olefine, guanidine, and 6-chloronicotinic acid was compared with the oviposition pattern of T. urticae. These findings are discussed with regard to previous laboratory and field observations of imidacloprid-induced fertility increases in T. urticae.
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Vol. 97 • No. 5