The impact of commonly used organophosphate (chlorpyrifos, methamidophos), carbamate (carbaryl), and pyrethroid (cypermethrin) insecticides on insect natural enemies was compared with that of a nucleopolyhedrovirus (Baculoviridae) of Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in maize grown in southern Mexico. Analyses of the SELECTV and Koppert Side Effects (IOBC) databases on the impact of synthetic insecticides on arthropod natural enemies were used to predict ≈75–90% natural enemy mortality after application, whereas the bioinsecticide was predicted to have no effect. Three field trails were performed in mid- and late-whorl stage maize planted during the growing season in Chiapas State, Mexico. Synthetic insecticides were applied at product label recommended rates using a manual knapsack sprayer fitted with a cone nozzle. The biological pesticide was applied at a rate of 3 × 1012 occlusion bodies (OBs)/ha using identical equipment. Pesticide impacts on arthropods on maize plants were quantified at intervals between 1 and 22 d postapplication. The biological insecticide based on S. frugiperda nucleopolyhedrovirus had no adverse effect on insect natural enemies or other nontarget insect populations. Applications of the carbamate, pyrethroid, and organophosphate insecticides all resulted in reduced abundance of insect natural enemies, but for a relatively short period (8–15 d). Pesticide applications made to late-whorl stage maize resulted in lesser reductions in natural enemy populations than applications made at the mid-whorl stage, probably because of a greater abundance of physical refuges and reduced spray penetration of late-whorl maize.
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Vol. 96 • No. 3