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1 February 2012 Plant Terpenoids: Acute Toxicities and Effects on Flight Motor Activity and Wing Beat Frequency in the Blow Fly Phaenicia sericata
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We evaluated the acute toxicities and the physiological effects of plant monoterpenoids (eugenol, pulegone, citronellal and α-terpineol) and neuroactive insecticides (malathion, dieldrin and RH3421) on flight muscle impulses (FMI) and wing beat signals (WBS) of the blow fly (Phaenicia sericata). Topically-applied eugenol, pulegone, citronellal, and α-terpineol produced neurotoxic symptoms, but were less toxic than malathion, dieldrin, or RH3421. Topical application of eugenol, pulegone, and citronellal reduced spike amplitude in one of the two banks of blow fly dorsolongitudinal flight muscles within 6–8 min, but with citronellal, the amplitude of FMIs reverted to a normal pattern within 1 hr. In contrast to pulegone and citronellal, where impulse frequency remained relatively constant, eugenol caused a gradual increase, then a decline in the frequency of spikes in each muscle bank. Wing beating was blocked permanently within 6–7 min of administering pulegone or citronellal and within 16 mins with eugenol. α-Terpineol-treated blow flies could not beat their wings despite normal FMI patterns. The actions of these monoterpenoids on blow fly flight motor patterns are discussed and compared with those of dieldrin, malathion, RH3421, and a variety of other neuroactive substances we have previously investigated in this system. Eugenol, pulegone and citronellal readily penetrate blow fly cuticle and interfere with flight muscle and/or central nervous function. Although there were differences in the effects of these compounds, they mainly depressed flight-associated responses, and acted similarly to compounds that block sodium channels and facilitate GABA action.

© 2012 Entomological Society of America
Ranil Waliwitiya, Peter Belton, Russell A. Nicholson, and Carl A. Lowenberger "Plant Terpenoids: Acute Toxicities and Effects on Flight Motor Activity and Wing Beat Frequency in the Blow Fly Phaenicia sericata," Journal of Economic Entomology 105(1), 72-84, (1 February 2012).
Received: 9 October 2010; Accepted: 1 September 2011; Published: 1 February 2012

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