Impact of Fipronil Residues on Mole Cricket (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae) Behavior and Mortality in Bermudagrass

Hennen D. Cummings, Rick L. Brandenburg, Ross B. Leidy, Fred H. Yelverton


In a greenhouse experiment, fipronil was applied at 0.014 kg ai/ha to bermudagrass, Cynodon dactylon L., in plastic 5-liter containers 120, 90, 60, 30, and 0 days before adding one tawny mole cricket nymph, Scapteriscus vicinus Scudder to the container. After the exposure period, soil in the containers was divided into depth increments of 0-4, 4-8, and 8-18 cm, and cricket status was recorded as dead, absent, or alive by thoroughly examining soil. Soil in the 0-4 cm-increment was analyzed for fipronil and four fipronil metabolite residues. Fipronil residue concentrations decreased with time (C = 0.00002x2 - 0.0053x + 0.3675, R2 = 0.9998 where C = fipronil concentration (µg/g of soil) and x = days after treatment). Concentrations of two metabolites, fipronil sulfone and fipronil sulfide, increased as fipronil residues decreased. Each treatment’s affect on late instar mole crickets was significantly different from the non-treated; however, there were no significant differences in nymph status among fipronil-treated containers. Fipronil and residues of its metabolites 120 days after application were 0.047 µg/g of soil and were high enough to kill or repel mole crickets to the same extent as the 0-day treatment, 0.368 µg/g of soil. Repellency of fipronil and its metabolites was significant as the majority of nymphs evacuated or died in the treated containers, but 35 of 37 nymphs were found alive in the non-treated containers.

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