Sub-lethal effects of deltamethrin residues on the within-crop behaviour and distribution of Coccinella septempunctata

Authors

  • John A. Wiles,

    1. Ecotoxicology Research Group, Department of Biology, University of Southampton, Biomedical Sciences Building, Bassett Crescent East, Southampton SO9 3TU, UK
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Paul C. Jepson

    1. Ecotoxicology Research Group, Department of Biology, University of Southampton, Biomedical Sciences Building, Bassett Crescent East, Southampton SO9 3TU, UK
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

The behaviour and distribution of adult Coccinella septempunctata L. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) were recorded in two plots of winter wheat infested with the cereal aphids Sitobion avenae (F.) and Metopolophium dirhodum (Walk.) (Homoptera: Aphididae). One plot was sprayed with the pyrethroid insecticide deltamethrin at a rate of 6.25 g a.i./ha and the other was left unsprayed. Single ladybird beetles were released sequentially on the ground at the centre of the sprayed and unsprayed plots and their behaviour and position in the crop canopy were recorded at 30 second intervals for a total of 15 min per beetle. Assessments, with fresh beetles, continued for four days after spray application with a total of eighty ladybird beetles observed. The 15 min period was selected to avoid lethal effects and no ladybird beetles were killed or knocked down as a result of exposure to deltamethrin residues during this period. Significant differences were found between the overall behaviour patterns of C. septempunctata in the untreated and deltamethrin treated plots up to three days after the spray application. Ladybird beetles exposed to deltamethrin residues were observed to walk and groom significantly more frequently and to rest significantly less frequently than those in the unsprayed plot. Significant differences were also found between the observed distribution of ladybird beetles in the sprayed and unsprayed crop canopies, with higher numbers of observations towards the bottom of the crop canopy and on the ground in the deltamethrin treated plot than in the untreated plot during the first two days after deltamethrin application. Upon the foliage itself, ladybird beetles were observed significantly more frequently on the abaxial leaf surface in the deltamethrin treated crop compared with the untreated crop. The results are discussed in terms of possible evidence for the repellency of deltamethrin to C. septempunctata and also the implications for integrated pest management of changes in predator behaviour and crop distribution resulting from sub-lethal uptake of insecticides.

Ancillary