Laboratory studies were carried out to compare the toxicity of seven foliar insecticides to four species of adult beneficial insects representing two families of Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae (Aphytis melinus Debach, Eretmocerus eremicus Rose & Zolnerowich, and Encarsia formosa Gahan) and Mymaridae (Gonatocerus ashmeadi Girault) that attack California red scale, Aonidiella aurantii (Maskell); sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (both E. eremicus and E. formosa); and glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar), respectively. Insecticides from four pesticide classes were evaluated using a petri dish bioassay technique across a range of concentrations to develop dosage-mortality regressions. Insecticides tested included acetamiprid (neonicotinoid); chlorpyrifos (organophosphate); bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, and fenpropathrin (pyrethroids); and buprofezin and pyriproxyfen (insect growth regulators [IGRs]). Chlorpyrifos was consistently the most toxic pesticide to all four species of beneficial insects tested based on LC50 values recorded 24 h posttreatment compared with 48-h LC50 values with the neonicotinoid and pyrethroids or 96 h with the IGRs. Among the three pyrethroids, fenpropathrin was usually less toxic (except similar toxicity to A. melinus) than was cyfluthrin, and it was normally less toxic (except similar toxicity with E. formosa) than was bifenthrin. Acetamiprid was generally less toxic than bifenthrin (except similar toxicity with G. ashmeadi). The IGRs buprofezin and pyriproxyfen were usually less toxic than the contact pesticides, but we did not test for possible impacts on female fecundity. For all seven pesticides tested, A. melinus was the most susceptible parasitoid of the four test species. The data presented here will provide pest managers with specific information on the compatibility of select insecticides with natural enemies attacking citrus and cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., pests.
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Vol. 100 • No. 4