Pymetrozine reportedly inhibits feeding of plant sap-sucking insects, such as aphids and brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens (Stål)). By using electrical penetration graph (EPG), this study was conducted to investigate any differential effect of pymetrozine on the feeding behaviors of four major rice sap-sucking insect species, 1) N. lugens, 2) white-backed planthopper (Sogatella furcifera (Horváth)), 3) small brown planthopper (Laodelphax striatellus (Fallén)), and 4) green rice leafhopper (Nephotettix cincticeps Uhler). On pymetrozine-free TN1 rice plants, white-backed planthopper and small brown planthopper showed a significantly less activity in the phloem phases than brown planthopper or green rice leafhopper while green rice leafhopper engaged in relatively more xylem ingestion than brown planthopper, white-backed planthopper, and small brown planthopper. On the plants treated with 100 mg liter-1 of pymetrozine, all four insect species showed significant increases, in total duration of nonprobing and significant decreases in the activities in phloem tissue, while all species showed similar feeding behavior during the pathway and xylem phases. This study revealed that, regardless of whether the insects on untreated plants spent more time feeding on phloem than xylem (brown planthopper) or more time on xylem than phloem (green rice leafhopper) or similar times on phloem and xylem (white-backed planthopper and small brown planthopper), their feeding behavior was disturbed by pymetrozine and exhibited similar patterns of sharp decline in activity in the phloem tissue and a significant increase the nonprobing.
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