The conservation of natural enemies is an important tactic to promote biological control of arthropod pests. The earwig Doru luteipes (Sccuder) is the most important predator of the fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) in corn fields. One way of conserving these predators in the field is by using only selective insecticides when the pest population reaches the economic threshold. Some recent insecticides such as azadirachtin, chlorantraniliprole, and novaluron have been claimed to pose reduced risk for natural enemies. Nevertheless, there is a dearth of information regarding the selectivity of these insecticides upon earwigs in specific. In this study, we carried out a series of laboratory assays to examine the survivorship and locomotory behavior of D. luteipes after exposure to fresh dry residue of azadirachtin, chlorantraniliprole, and novaluron. Our results show a significant survival reduction for D. luteipes nymphs exposed to fresh residues of chlorantraniliprole and novaluron. In the behavioral studies, adults of D. luteipes stopped more often, spent more time resting (inactive), and moved more slowly immediately after exposure to chlorantraniliprole residue. These results suggest that chlorantraniliprole may mediate an impaired movement and a behavior arrestment of earwigs after contact with this insecticide fresh residue. This could translate into reduced foraging efficiency, and increase exposure and insecticide uptake. Although chlorantraniliprole and novaluron showed a potential to undermine the biological control provided by earwigs, it is yet essential to conduct field trials in order to confirm our laboratory results.
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Vol. 110 • No. 4