Safety of a Novel Insecticide, Sucrose Octanoate, to Beneficial Insects in Florida Citrus

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FloridaEntomologist.gifLaboratory trials were used to estimate the toxicity of sucrose octanoate to beneficial insects representing four insect orders of importance in biological control in Florida citrus. First instars of the ladybeetles Cycloneda sanguinea L., Curinus coeruleus Mulsant, Harmonia axyridis Pallas and Olla v-nigrum Mulsant (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and the lacewing Chrysoperla rufilabris Burmeister (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) survived topical sprays of sucrose octanoate at 8,000 ppm without significant mortality, a concentration corresponding to twice the recommended field rate required to kill aphids and other soft bodied pests. Similarly, adults of the red scale parasitoid, Aphytis melinus De Bach (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) and second instars of the predatory bug Orius insidiosus (Say) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) survived 24 h exposures to residues of 8,000 ppm sucrose octanoate on leaf disks without significant mortality. The efficacy of sucrose octanoate as a contact insecticide against various homopteran pests of citrus, combined with its low toxicity to key beneficial insects in the citrus ecosystem, suggest that it may be a valuable material for incorporation into IPM programs for Florida citrus.

J. P. Michaud
C. L. McKenzie
Florida Entomologist