Acute Toxicity of Permethrin, Deltamethrin, and Etofenprox to the Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee
Piccolomini, Alyssa M.
Whiten, Shavonn R.
O'Neill, Kevin M.
Peterson, Robert K. D.
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Current regulatory requirements for insecticide toxicity to nontarget insects focus on the honey bee, Apis mellifera (L.; Hymenoptera: Apidae), but this species cannot represent all insect pollinator species in terms of response to insecticides. Therefore, we characterized the toxicity of pyrethroid insecticides used for adult mosquito management (permethrin, deltamethrin, and etofenprox) on a nontarget insect, the adult alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (F.; Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in two separate studies. In the first study, the doses causing 50 and 90% mortality (LD50 and LD90, respectively) were used as endpoints and 2-d-old adult females were exposed to eight concentrations ranging from 0.0075 to 0.076 μg/bee for permethrin and etofenprox, and 0.0013–0.0075 μg/bee for deltamethrin. For the second study, respiration rates of female M. rotundata were also recorded for 2 h after bees were dosed at the LD50 values to give an indication of stress response. Results indicated a relatively similar LD50 for permethrin and etofenprox, 0.057 and 0.051 μg/bee, respectively, and a more toxic response, 0.0016 μg/bee for deltamethrin. Comparatively, female A. mellifera workers have a LD50 value of 0.024 μg/bee for permethrin and 0.015 μg/bee for etofenprox indicating that female M. rotundata are less susceptible to topical doses of these insecticides, except for deltamethrin, where both A. mellifera and M. rotundata have an identical LD50 of 0.0016 μg/bee. Respiration rates comparing each active ingredient to control groups, as well as rates between each active ingredient, were statistically different (P < 0.0001). The addition of these results to existing information on A. mellifera may provide more insights on how other economically beneficial and nontarget bees respond to pyrethroids.
Piccolomini, Alyssa M. , Shavonn R. Whiten, Michelle L. Flenniken, Kevin M. O'Neill, and Robert K. D. Peterson. "Acute Toxicity of Permethrin, Deltamethrin, and Etofenprox to the Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee." Journal of Economic Entomology 111, no. 3 (May 2018): 1001-1005. DOI:10.1093/jee/toy014.