Insecticidal activity of young and mature leaves essential oil from Eucalyptus globulus against Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)

Serafina Russo1*, Nora Cabrera2, Hugo Chludil1, Margarita Yaber-Grass1, and Silvia Leicach1
The confused flour beetle, Tribolium confusum Jaquelin Du Val, 1868, is a common pest insect known for attacking and infesting stored flour and grain. Biodegradable and ecologically natural products such as essential oils are emerging candidates for replacement of usually applied chemical pesticides. This work reported the chemical composition and effects caused by young and mature leaves essential oils (EOs) from Eucalyptus globulus Labill. against T. confusum. For both oils, no significant differences between yields were observed, being 1,8-cineole the main common constituent. Mature leaves extracts were rich in oxygenated mono- and sesquiterpenes, whereas young leaves showed greater content of non-oxygenated compounds. Bioassay was performed using EOs and 1,8-cineole solutions at different concentrations and time intervals. Adult mortality increased according to concentration and exposure time; young leaves extracts exhibited the greater effectiveness, highest mortalities (31.67%) at the minor time (2 h). At the lowest concentrations, 1,8-cineole solutions and mature leaves EOs did not achieve 100% mortality even when the bioassay was concluded (12 h), while at major doses no insects were alive. These results suggested that young and mature EOs from E. globulus constitute an alternative natural product to the control of T. confusum, since young leaves extracts, rich in monoterpene and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, may be potential eligible candidates considering their noticeable insecticidal effects at low applied concentrations and short times of exposure.
Keywords: Essential oil, Eucalyptus globulus, insecticidal properties, Tribolium confusum.
1Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Agronomía, Avenida San Martín 4453, 1417. Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina. *Corresponding author (srusso@agro.uba.ar).
2Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo, Paseo del Bosque s/n, 1900 La Plata, Argentina.