Pallis, S., A. Alyokhin, B. Manley, T. Rodrigues, E. Barnes, and K. Narva. 2023. Effects of low doses of a novel dsRNA-based biopesticide (Calantha) on the Colorado potato beetle. Journal of Economic Entomology 116: 456-461

The Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) is a destructive pest of the cultivated potato, Solanum tuberosum. Members of this species are well-suited to agricultural habitats because of a suite of physiological adaptations and their ability to evolve resistance to multiple insecticides. Recently, a novel double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) insecticide (Calantha, active ingredient ledprona) has been demonstrated as an effective tool to manage Colorado potato beetle populations through RNA interference (RNAi). Previous studies have demonstrated the lethality of the high doses of ledprona but had not assessed possible effects of low doses that may happen due to product degradation in the environment, incomplete spray coverage, and foliage growth. Exposure of fourth instar larvae to low concentrations of ledprona interfered with their pupation. Exposure of adults significantly reduced their mobility after seven days, as well as their fertility. Reproductive effects were stronger in females, especially when exposed before reaching sexual maturity. The observed effects of low doses of ledprona may aid in the overall management of Colorado potato beetles by reducing the size of resident populations, inhibiting beetle movement within and between fields, and reducing the population growth rate.