PLoS ONE (2015) 10 (2 - e0118343)

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Debora B. Lima, José Wagner S. Melo, Nelsa Maria P. Guedes, Lessando M. Gontijo, Raul Narciso C. Guedes and Manoel Guedes C. Gondim Jr. (2015)
Bioinsecticide-predator interactions: Azadirachtin behavioral and reproductive impairment of the coconut mite predator Neoseiulus baraki
PLoS ONE 10 (2 - e0118343)
Abstract: Synthetic pesticide use has been the dominant form of pest control since the 1940s. However, biopesticides are emerging as sustainable pest control alternatives, with prevailing use in organic agricultural production systems. Foremost among botanical biopesticides is the limonoid azadirachtin, whose perceived environmental safety has come under debate and scrutiny in recent years. Coconut production, particularly organic coconut production, is one of the agricultural systems in which azadirachtin is used as a primary method of pest control for the management of the invasive coconut mite, Aceria guerreronis Keifer (Acari: Eriophyidae). The management of this mite species also greatly benefits from predation by Neoseiulus baraki (Athias-Henriot) (Acari: Phytoseiidae). Here, we assessed the potential behavioral impacts of azadirachtin on the coconut mite predator, N. baraki. We explored the effects of this biopesticide on overall predator activity, female searching time, and mating behavior and fecundity. Azadirachtin impairs the overall activity of the predator, reducing it to nearly half; however, female searching was not affected. In contrast, mating behavior was compromised by azadirachtin exposure particularly when male predators were exposed to the biopesticide. Consequently, predator fecundity was also compromised by azadirachtin, furthering doubts about its environmental safety and selectivity towards biological control agents.
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Database assignments for author(s): Raul Narciso C. Guedes

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
resistance to pesticides

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Aceria guerreronis Coconut (Cocos nucifera) Brazil (NE)
Neoseiulus baraki (predator) Aceria guerreronis Coconut (Cocos nucifera) Brazil (NE)