Get access

Effects of sub-lethal and lethal doses of lambda-cyhalothrin on oviposition experience and host-searching behaviour of a parasitic wasp, Aphidius ervi



In many parasitoid species, the recognition of chemical signals is essential to find specific hosts. This function is often impaired by exposure to insecticides that are usually neurotoxic. The behaviour of the Hymenopterous parasitoid Aphidius ervi (Haliday) (Hymenoptera:Aphidiinae) after surviving low doses of the pyrethroid lambda-cyhalothrin was examined in laboratory conditions. The host aphid was Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Homoptera:Aphididae) on oilseed rape. Parasitoid females were exposed by contact with dry residues of the active ingredient at a lethal dose, LD20, and a sub-lethal dose, LD0.1. In a four-armed olfactometer, untreated and inexperienced females were attracted by the odour of M persicae-infested plants and previous oviposition experience increased the duration of the attraction response. The response of inexperienced females decreased after an exposure to LD0.1 but not to LD20. No effect was observed when females had an oviposition experience prior to the olfactometer test. The oviposition activity was significantly decreased in the LD20-treated group but not in the LD0.1-treated one. All effects disappeared within 24 h. Our work shows that orientation and oviposition behaviours may be impaired by low doses of lambda-cyhalothrin, depending on the dose, the parasitoid experience and the type of behaviour. Copyright © 2004 Society of Chemical Industry