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      Influence of Non-lethal Doses of Natural Insecticides Spinetoram and Azadirachtin on Helicoverpa punctigera (Native Budworm, Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Under Laboratory Conditions

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          Helicoverpa punctigera (native budworm) is an important pest species in crops across Australia. From the third instar onward, this species causes severe damage to crop plants: therefore, caterpillars need to be managed at an early stage of their development. In our experiment, we raised H. punctigera on an artificial diet, which included different concentrations of the natural insecticides Spinetoram and Azadirachtin. The survival of the larvae, growth and body mass gain was recorded over 17 days. Only caterpillars raised on lowest toxin concentrations survived and molted successfully to the fifth instar, but had slower growth and body mass gain compared to the insecticide-free control group. Caterpillars fed on higher toxin concentrations never molted to the next instar or died in the first few days. To test how the toxins influence physiological conditions including metabolic rate and water loss, surviving fifth instar larvae were exposed to thermolimit respirometry: starting at 25°C following a constant increasing temperature ramping rate of 0.25°C –1, until reaching the critical thermal maxima (CT max ). Caterpillars raised on a non-lethal dose of insecticides had higher metabolic rates and lost more water compared to the control group. Insects that have seem to consume more energy per mg tissue and have a higher water loss at high temperatures. Non-lethal concentrations of insecticides on pest insects physiology may reduce their impact on crops and may enable more targetted insecticide application.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Properties and potential of natural pesticides from the neem tree, Azadirachta indica.

           H Schmutterer (1989)
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            The critical thermal maximum: history and critique

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              The development, regulation and use of biopesticides for integrated pest management.

              Over the past 50 years, crop protection has relied heavily on synthetic chemical pesticides, but their availability is now declining as a result of new legislation and the evolution of resistance in pest populations. Therefore, alternative pest management tactics are needed. Biopesticides are pest management agents based on living micro-organisms or natural products. They have proven potential for pest management and they are being used across the world. However, they are regulated by systems designed originally for chemical pesticides that have created market entry barriers by imposing burdensome costs on the biopesticide industry. There are also significant technical barriers to making biopesticides more effective. In the European Union, a greater emphasis on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as part of agricultural policy may lead to innovations in the way that biopesticides are regulated. There are also new opportunities for developing biopesticides in IPM by combining ecological science with post-genomics technologies. The new biopesticide products that will result from this research will bring with them new regulatory and economic challenges that must be addressed through joint working between social and natural scientists, policy makers and industry.

                Author and article information

                Front Physiol
                Front Physiol
                Front. Physiol.
                Frontiers in Physiology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                28 August 2020
                : 11
                1Insect Ecology Lab, Zoology, University of New England , Armidale, NSW, Australia
                2Institut für Insektenbiotechnologie, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen , Giessen, Germany
                Author notes

                Edited by: Jin-Jun Wang, Southwest University, China

                Reviewed by: Liao Chong-yu, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), China; Christos Athanassiou, University of Thessaly, Greece

                *Correspondence: Anja Betz, anja.betz@

                This article was submitted to Invertebrate Physiology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Physiology

                Copyright © 2020 Betz and Andrew.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 30, Pages: 11, Words: 0
                Funded by: University of New England 10.13039/501100001772
                Original Research


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