BACKGROUND: Feeding assays using adult rice water weevils and foliage of plants treated as seeds with chlorantraniliprole and thiamethoxam at different rates were conducted to evaluate the systemic adulticidal and feeding effects. Dose–mortality relationships were determined for thiamethoxam seed treatments by combining leaf area lost due to feeding and insecticide residues analyzed by LC/MS/MS. Changes in adulticidal activity of thiamethoxam were also investigated by contrasting adult mortalities at the 5–6-leaf and tillering stages of rice.
RESULTS: Adult weevil mortalities and leaf consumption rates on foliage were affected in thiamethoxam but not in chlorantraniliprole treatments when rice was at the 6–7-leaf stage. The LD50 for weevils feeding on thiamethoxam-treated rice at the 2–3-leaf stage was 447 pg insecticide weevil−1 (95% CL: 25–830 pg weevil−1) but was lower (142 pg weevil−1; 95% CL: 102–180 pg weevil−1) in experiments with 3–4-leaf-stage plants. Mortalities on leaves from 5–6-leaf-stage plants were consistently higher than on leaves from tillering plants. Thiamethoxam residues measured by ELISA increased with seed treatment rate and differed between plant stages.
CONCLUSION: The LD50 values developed in this study are the first values for leaf-feeding insects on foliage of plants treated as seeds with thiamethoxam. The attrition of adulticidal activity of thiamethoxam in foliage of older plants may help to explain the reduced effectiveness of seed treatments against rice water larvae that is seen at later stages of rice growth in field studies. The differential activity of these two seed treatments on adults suggests that adult mortality contributes to the field efficacy of thiamethoxam but not to that of chlorantraniliprole. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry