Indexed on: 09 Aug '16Published on: 08 Aug '16Published in: Experimental and Applied Acarology
Weed management in physic nut plantations has generally been performed by spraying the herbicide glyphosate. However, the effects of glyphosate on non-target organisms present in the crop system are unknown. Here, we evaluated the toxicity of glyphosate (Roundup Transorb®) against the pest species Polyphagotarsonemus latus (Acari: Tarsonemidae) and Tetranychus bastosi (Acari: Tetranychidae) which can be exposed by drift. These mites are considered pests of the physic nut; however, they can also feed and reside on weeds associated with the crop, serving as food sources for predatory mites. When subjected to residue (by ingestion of sap of treated plants), and direct contact to glyphosate, P. latus reproduction was affected but T. bastosi was affected only by the residual effect. Although the herbicide caused a reduction in the number of eggs laid by the females of both pest mites, it is suggested that sublethal effects of glyphosate stimulates oviposition of P. latus and T. bastosi: both species displayed higher reproductive rates when exposed to 0.36 kg ha−1 of the herbicide. We conclude that glyphosate negatively affects the arthropod herbivores studied and we discuss possible implications on their biological control in Jatropha curcas plantations.