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New Zealand Plant Protection 67 (2014): 256-266

Toxicity of selected agrichemicals to clover root weevil and its parasitoid Microctonus aethiopoides

M.R. McNeill, T.M. Eden and V.M. Cave


White clover (Trifolium repens) crops are attacked by various insect pests including Sitona obsoletus (=S. lepidus) (CRW). Laboratory experiments were conducted to measure the toxicity of eight agrichemicals used against white clover insect pests or for weed control on CRW (parasitised and non-parasitised) and adults of its parasitoid Microctonus aethiopoides. Laboratory experiments evaluated insect toxicity through direct contact with the agrichemical spray or via exposure to residues on clover foliage. At field rates, pymetrozine had the lowest impact on CRW biocontrol but had poor activity against non-parasitised CRW. Taufluvalinate provided 60% control of CRW, while having reduced impact on M. aethiopoides adults (0-60% mortality), and was considered the best option in the field over the summer period. Lambda-cyhalothrin and diazinon were the most detrimental to CRW and its biocontrol agent when applied directly and through exposure to residues. Diquat and an adjuvant caused some mortality to CRW and parasitoid. Field studies are needed to corroborate these results.

Keywords: insecticides, pesticides, biological control, Sitona obsoletus, integrated pest management, pesticide residues, white clover seed production.

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