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Pest Manag Sci. 2016 Sep;72(9):1752-7. doi: 10.1002/ps.4204. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

The effect of synthetic pesticides and sulfur used in conventional and organically grown strawberry and soybean on Neozygites floridana, a natural enemy of spider mites.

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Department of Entomology and Acarology, ESALQ - University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil.
The Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation - Embrapa Soybean, Londrina, Paraná, Brasil.
NIBIO Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy, Biotechnology and Plant Health Division, Ås, Norway.
Department of Applied and Technical Biology, Technical University of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya.
Department of Exact Sciences, ESALQ - University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil.



The beneficial fungus Neozygites floridana kills the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae, which is a serious polyphagous plant pest worldwide. Outbreaks of spider mites in strawberry and soybean have been associated with pesticide applications. Pesticides may affect N. floridana and consequently the natural control of T. urticae. N. floridana is a fungus difficult to grow in artificial media, and for this reason, very few studies have been conducted with this fungus, especially regarding the impact of pesticides. The aim of this study was to conduct a laboratory experiment to evaluate the effect of pesticides used in strawberry and soybean crops on N. floridana.


Among the pesticides used in strawberry, the fungicides sulfur and cyprodinil + fludioxonil completely inhibited both the sporulation and conidial germination of N. floridana. The fungicide fluazinam affected N. floridana drastically. The application of the fungicide tebuconazole and the insecticides fenpropathrin and abamectin resulted in a less pronounced negative effect on N. floridana. Except for epoxiconazole and cyproconazole, all tested fungicides used in soybean resulted in a complete inhibition of N. floridana. Among the three insecticides used in soybean, lambda-cyhalothrin and deltamethrin resulted in a significant inhibition of N. floridana.


The insecticides/ acaricides abamectin and lambda-cyhalothrin at half concentrations and fenpropathrin and permethrin and the fungicide tebuconazole at the recommended concentrations resulted in the lowest impact on N. floridana. The fungicides with the active ingredients sulfur, cyprodinil + fludioxonil, azoxystrobin, azoxystrobin + cyproconazole, trifloxystrobin + tebuconazole and pyraclostrobin + epoxiconazole negatively affected N. floridana. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry.


Tetranychus urticae; conservation biological control; integrated pest management; non-target effects; organic farming

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