Aqueous extracts of Cestrum parqui L’Héritier (Solanaceae) were evaluated at different concentrations in several stages of Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae). For adults, the study was extended to extracts obtained with several solvents of an increasing degree of polarity. Aqueous extracts from C. parqui showed a high toxicity to neonate larvae when ingested through diet, inhibiting pupation at a concentration above 0.6%. Lower concentrations delayed the larval development and reduced the percentages of pupae formed and adult emergence. An LC50 = 0.9% after 3 d of continuous ingestion of C. parqui aqueous extracts could be calculated, whereas extracts obtained with organic compounds were nearly innocuous except with the use of the solvent methanol/water (80:20), the more polar of those tested, that killed 12.5% of adults. Aqueous extracts were also harmful to adults by diminishing the reproductive potential, which implies a significant effect on the offspring. Egg contact with insecticide or dipping third instars did not cause any adverse effect, supporting the hypothesis that only by means of ingestion can the toxic compounds of C. parqui reach the target. Our results showed that C. parqui components causing C. capitata mortality are mostly dissolved in water and not in organic solvents, which point out their polar character.
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