Impacts of seven insecticides on Cotesia flavipes (Cameron) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)

  • Thaís Fagundes MatioliEmail author
  • Odimar Zanuzo Zanardi
  • Pedro Takao Yamamoto


The endoparasitoid wasp Cotesia flavipes (Cameron) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) is inundatively released in Brazilian sugarcane plantations to control the sugarcane borers Diatraea saccharalis (Fabricius) and Diatraea flavipennella (Box) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae). In conjunction with these releases, several synthetic insecticides are used to control the neonate larvae of these pests. We assessed the lethal and transgenerational sublethal effects of seven of these insecticides on C. flavipes. Leaf discs were sprayed at the highest field concentrations of chlorantraniliprole, lambda-cyhalothrin + chlorantraniliprole, chlorfluazuron, triflumuron, lambda-cyhalothrin + thiamethoxam, tebufenozide, and novaluron. Distilled water was used as a negative control. Newly emerged females (24 h old) were placed in Petri dishes containing the treated leaves, and the lethal and transgenerational sublethal effects were assessed for the next two generations. Lambda-cyhalothrin + chlorantraniliprole and lambda-cyhalothrin + thiamethoxam caused 100% mortality of the parasitoid and were highly persistent, causing more than 30% mortality at 30 days after spraying. Chlorantraniliprole, chlorfluazuron, novaluron, and triflumuron did not cause significant mortality compared to the negative control, but did have transgenerational sublethal effects. The length of the tibia of the right posterior leg, used as a growth measurement, was reduced in the progeny (F1 generation) of exposed female parasitoids. In addition, chlorantraniliprole increased and chlorfluazuron reduced the proportion of females in the F1 generation, whereas novaluron reduced the proportion of females in the F2 generation. Overall, only tebufenozide was considered harmless to C. flavipes. The results of this study suggest that lambda-cyhalothrin + chlorantraniliprole and lambda-cyhalothrin + thiamethoxam are harmful to C. flavipes, although field studies are needed to obtain results for actual sugarcane crops.


Diatraea saccharalis Larval parasitoid Toxicity Transgenerational sublethal effects Integrated pest management 



The authors thank the Department of Entomology and Acarology at “Luiz de Queiroz” College of Agriculture/University of São Paulo (ESALQ/USP), Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil. They are grateful to Janet W. Reid for help with the manuscript.


This study was funded by the Brazilian Federal Agency for the Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES), with financial support and award of a scholarship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Entomology and Acarology“Luiz de Queiroz” College of Agriculture/University of São Paulo (ESALQ/USP)São PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyFund for Citrus Protection (FUNDECITRUS)São PauloBrazil

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