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Effects of crude aqueous extracts of indigenous pesticidal plants on the ladybird beetle, Hippodamia variegata (Goeze) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

  • E. Mazhawidza (a1), B. M. Mvumi (a1) and U. Mazarura (a2)


Effects of pesticidal plant extracts on non-targeted species are rare. Direct topical and residual sprays of crude aqueous extracts of three pesticidal plants: Datura stramonium L. Bobgunnia madagascariensis Kirkbr. & Wiersema and Solanum delagoense L. were assessed in laboratory bioassays and on-station experiments against the ladybird beetle, Hippodamia variegata (Goeze). The plants are routinely used by smallholder vegetable farmers to control aphids, Brevicoryne brassicae L. attacking rape, Brassica napus L. The crude extracts of D. stramonium fresh leaves, S. delagoense fresh fruits and B. madagascariensis dried pods, were applied separately at 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25% w/v under laboratory conditions. Application rates of 20% and 25% w/v of the plant extracts were further evaluated on-station. Negative (tap water) and positive (dimethoate® (36% E.C)) controls were included for comparison. The mortality of H. variegata was recorded 24, 48 and 72 h post-exposure. In on-station experiments, treatments were applied fortnightly and live H. variegata adults were counted at 1, 7 and 14 days post-application. Mortality of H. variegata in laboratory bioassays increased with increase in post-exposure time and B. madagascariensis (25% w/v) caused the highest mortality. Based on LD50 values, B. madagascariensis extracts were most toxic (LD50, 30% w/v) followed by D. stramonium (LD50, 34% w/v) and S. delagoense (LD50, 49% w/v) 24 h post-application. In on-station experiments, the synthetic chemical significantly lowered (P < 0.05) H. variegata numbers compared to the negative control and plant extracts. The results showed that D. stramonium and S. delagoense extracts at the application rates used in the study were relatively safer to H. variegata than B. madagascariensis (25% w/v); hence, the former two plants can be included in integrated pest management programmes.


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