The parasitic wasp Eretmocerus mundus (Mercet) is an important natural enemy of the widespread key pest Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius). The toxicity of 11 modern insecticides applied at their maximum field recommended rate in Spain was tested in two life stages of E. mundus: adults and mummies. Laboratory and persistence tests were conducted and effects assessed not only in terms of mortality but on reproductive performance as well. Some insecticides caused the same effect to both life stages: flubendiamide, methoxyfenozide, spiromesifen, and flonicamid were harmless, while spinosad and sulfoxaflor were harmful. The last two insecticides cannot be used jointly with E. mundus under any condition because they were highly persistent. The rest of tested insecticides (spirotetramat, metaflumizone, deltamethrin, abamectin, and emamectin) caused some direct mortality to one or both life stages and/or affected reproduction of the parasitic wasp and their harmful effect in the field ranged from short lived (metaflumizone and spirotetramat) to slightly persistent (emamectin) and to moderately persistent (abamectin and deltamethrin). Therefore, they could be recommended for use in integrated pest management programs together with the natural enemy if appropriate safety intervals after insecticide application are observed.
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Vol. 108 • No. 5