Toxicity of neem oil to the cassava green mite Mononychellus tanajoa (Bondar) (Acari: Tetranychidae)

Amanda C.B. Silva1, Adenir V. Teodoro2*, Eugenio E. Oliveira3, Adriano S. Rêgo1, and Rafael R. Silva1
Neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss.)-derived pesticides have been used against a wide range of agricultural pests including tetranychid mites. Approaches combining lethal and sublethal toxicity studies of neem pesticides towards tetranychid mites are necessary to a comprehensive evaluation of such products. Here, we evaluated the lethal and sublethal toxicity of the neem oil Bioneem to the cassava green mite Mononychellus tanajoa (Bondar) by integrating lethal concentration (LC) with population growth and biological parameter studies. According to Probit analyses the concentration of neem oil Bioneem which kills 50% of the population (LC50) of M. tanajoa was 3.28 µL cm-2, which is roughly twice the field concentration recommended of this biopesticide to control pest mites (1.7 µL cm-2). The growth rate of the cassava green mite steadily decreased with dosages of neem oil. Furthermore, sublethal concentrations of the neem oil corresponding to the LC50 reduced the periods of the immature stages of M. tanajoa resulting in a shorter developmental time. Similarly, the number of eggs per day and the number of eggs per female per day, a proxy for fecundity, were drastically reduced in M. tanajoa females exposed to the LC50 of neem oil. Based on our comprehensive approach we conclude that the neem oil showed lethal as well as sublethal toxicity on growth rate and biological parameters such as duration of immature stages and fecundity of the cassava green mite M. tanajoa and it could be used as an ecological alternative for the management of this pest.
Keywords: Azadirachta indica, biological studies, botanical pesticides, growth rate, sublethal effects.
1Universidade Estadual do Maranhão, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Agroecologia, 49025-040, São Luís, Maranhão, Brasil. 2Embrapa Tabuleiros Costeiros, Av. Beira Mar 3250, 65054-970, Jardins, Aracaju, Sergipe, Brasil. *Corresponding author (adenir.teodoro@embrapa.br).3Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Departamento de Biologia Animal, Entomologia, 36570-000, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brasil.