Mortality of five wireworm species (Coleoptera: Elateridae), following topical application of clothianidin and chlorpyrifos

W. G. van Herk, R. S. Vernon, M. Clodius, C. Harding, J. H. Tolman


Five Wireworrn species (Agriotes obscurus, A. sputator, Limonius canus, Ctenicera destructor, and C. pruinina) were exposed to clothianidin and chlorpyrifos at various concentrations using a Potter Spray Tower to compare larval susceptibilities to these compounds. Wireworms were stored in containers with soil at 15 °C after insecticide exposure, and their post-application health was evaluated weekly for up to 140 days. Where possible, LC50, LC90, LT50, and LT90 values were calculated and the LC90 and LT90 values of chemical concentrations compared between species. Considerable differences in susceptibility to both chlorpyrifos and clothianidin were observed among species, with the LC90 of L. canus exposed to clothianidin being significantly higher than A. obscurus or A. sputator. Similarly, while the LC50 of A. sputator exposed to chlorpyrifos was similar to that of C. pruinina and A. obscurus assayed in previous studies (0.05, 0.10, 0.10%, respectively), there was low (12.5%) mortality of L. canus at the highest concentration tested (0.15%). There were considerable differences in the survival of various wireworm species after exposure to clothianidin at 0.15%, with the LT90 of L. canus (66.5 days) similar to those of C. pruinina and C. destructor (52.5, 59.5 days, respectively), but much shorter than those for A. obscurus or A. sputator (122.5, 115.5 days, respectively). Considerable differences in the induction of and recovery from morbidity induced by the chemicals were observed among species. Most larvae of A. sputator and A. obscurus exposed to chlorpyrifos were moribund before C. prumina larvae (4, 7, 42 days after exposure, respectively). Most (proportion = 0.86) larvae of L. canus recovered from morbidity induced by chlorpyrifos, but a high proportion (>08) of moribund A. sputator, A. obscurus, and C. pruinina died. Larvae of C. destructor and C. pruinina which were moribund after exposure to clothianidin at 0.15% died or recovered sooner than larvae of L. canus and A. obscurus. Together these results suggest that the efficacy of both clothianidin and chlorpyrifos for wireworm control in the field are affected by the wireworm species present.


Agriotes obscurus; Limonius canus; wireworm; contact toxicity; insecticide; survival time

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