A larval immersion bioassay was developed to identify susceptibility of onion maggot, Delia antiqua (Meigen) (Diptera: Anthomyiidae), to chlorpyrifos and to determine whether this assay could be used to predict control in onion fields. Laboratory colonies were established from larvae collected in New York onion fields during 2003 and 2004, providing us with test insects to use in bioassays. The larval assay effectively determined susceptibility of D. antiqua to chlorpyrifos, and results were congruent with an adult bioassay. However, use of similar-aged larvae (4 d old) in the assays was critical because larvae became more tolerant to chlorpyrifos as they aged. In a field survey, six of the 13 populations had LC50 values above the recommended field rate of 3,600 ppm (range 4,031–6,869). Over two successive seasons in the same field, susceptibility of D. antiqua to chlorpyrifos decreased in two of three fields (by 45 and 42%) and remained the same in another field, indicating that resistance is not predictable from year to year. Based on the relationship between damage in the field and LC50 values from 11 of the populations mentioned above, all five populations that had LC50 values above the field rate caused unacceptable levels of damage, whereas five of six populations that had LC50 values below the field rate did not cause serious damage.
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Vol. 99 • No. 4