Toxicity and feeding response of adult corn earworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) to an organic spinosad formulation in sucrose solution


Adult corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie), feeds on plant exudates soon after emergence from pupa in their natural habitat, and thereafter disperses to suitable host plants for reproduction. The intent of this study was to determine if EntrustTM, an organic formulation of spinosad, could be used in a behavioral-based pest management strategy to control H. zea in organic farming systems. In the laboratory, we evaluated the response of the corn earworm to Entrust mixed with sugar solution relative to ingestion, toxicity and proboscis extension. The sucrose solution served as a feeding stimulant and simulated the plant exudate. Lethal concentration of Entrust (LC50 with 95% CLs) for male corn earworm captured in pheromone-baited traps was 0.48 (0.43 - 0.53) mgL-1 for 24 h response. Mean lethal time was 2.56 ± 0.13 h with ingestion of Entrust at 50 mg·L-1. A lethal dose of Entrust at 1000 mg·L-1 inhibited neither ingestion nor proboscis extension response of the insect. A detailed study of the adult corn earworm in the laboratory relative to toxicity after ingestion of Entrust indicates that the pesticide has potential to control the insect when used in an insecticidal bait formulation as part of an attract-and- kill system. Field studies are needed to support the conclusion.

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López, J. , Latheef, M. and Hoffmann, W. (2014) Toxicity and feeding response of adult corn earworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) to an organic spinosad formulation in sucrose solution. Advances in Entomology, 2, 33-41. doi: 10.4236/ae.2014.21006.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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