Date of this Version
The soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura (Homoptera: Aphididae), is a recent introduction (2000) from Asia and has become a serious soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr. (Fabaceae)] pest in North America. Seed treatments using the neonicotinoid insecticides, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, have been suggested as a method of control, and the use of these insecticides is becoming widespread. As a consequence, there is increased potential to select for resistance to these compounds. In the case of soybean aphids, baseline susceptibility to neonicotinoid insecticides and standardized methods for bioassay are lacking. A bioassay technique that uses excised soybean leaves immersed in an insecticide solution was developed to determine systemic insecticidal activity at lethal and sublethal concentrations. Mortality and population growth inhibition were evaluated after 7 days. Life table parameters were calculated by exposing 1-day-old aphids to three concentrations of thiamethoxam. Aphid mortality and nymph production were recorded daily until the entire cohort collapsed. Soybean aphid age-specific survivorship, fecundity, net reproductive rate, longevity, intrinsic rate of increase, discrete daily growth rate, and life expectancy were all significantly reduced at higher thiamethoxam concentrations. Soybean aphid response to both insecticides was similar, and both compounds were very toxic with LC50s of 31.3 and 16.9 ng ml−1 and EC50s of 6.3 and 5.4 ng ml−1 for imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, respectively. These results indicate that the methods developed in this study had negligible impact on the life table estimates measured and can be used to develop a baseline of susceptibility as a benchmark for subsequent resistance monitoring. Given the rapid and widespread adoption of this new insecticide class, vigilant monitoring for changes in susceptibility will be essential to its long-term sustainability.