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Article

Lethal Doses of Saponins from Quillaja saponaria for Invasive Slug Arion vulgaris and Non-Target Organism Enchytraeus albidus (Olygochaeta: Enchytraeidae)

Department of Zoology, Institute of Biosciences, Life Sciences Centre, Vilnius University, Saulėtekio av. 7, LT-10257 Vilnius, Lithuania
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Insects 2020, 11(11), 738; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11110738
Received: 15 September 2020 / Revised: 21 October 2020 / Accepted: 26 October 2020 / Published: 28 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology and Management of Slug and Snail Pests)
The Spanish slug, known by its scientific name Arion vulgaris, causes significant damage to agriculture and private gardens around the world. To control this pest, the use of saponin-rich plant extracts is gaining importance as they exhibit strong molluscicidal activity against gastropods and are safe (as saponin residues) in agriculture products. However, despite their proven safety in food, they still do not have a widespread application due to their liquid form and the absence of more accurate knowledge of their effects on other organisms. In this study we evaluated an extract from the bark of the soap tree Quillaja saponaria on slugs and on the white worms Enchytraeus albidus. It was found that slugs were significantly more sensitive to saponin extract at 2 and −1 °C compared to 15 °C. The lethal effect of saponins was stronger on adult slugs than on juveniles. However, lethal effect on worms was much stronger than on slugs. Overall, our results show that Q. saponaria saponins may be a successful slug control tool, especially during colder periods, but its concentration should be selected according to the age of slugs. However, high toxicity to white worms limits its use as an environmentally benign alternative means of slug control.
The slug, Arion vulgaris Moquin-Tandon, 1855, is a serious pest in agriculture and private gardens. White worm, Enchytraeus albidus Henle, 1837, is an important model of decomposer organism in the terrestrial ecosystem. Saponins, which are secondary metabolites of plants, have previously been shown to have some molluscicidal effect. We investigated which doses of saponins are lethal to the slug, A. vulgaris, and to the non-target organism, E. albidus. An aqueous solution with different concentrations of saponin extract from the bark of the soap tree, Quillaja saponaria Mol., was used in repeat treatments. Slugs were tested in filter paper contact tests as they are naturally exposed to soil contact while crawling. Worms were tested in soil contact tests as they live below ground. It was found that lethality of saponins depends on the slug age group and the environmental temperature. The median lethal concentration (LC50, at 15 °C) on adults was 68.5 g/L, and on juveniles, 96.9 g/L. The slugs were significantly more sensitive at 2 and −1 °C compared to 15 °C. The LC50 (at 6 ℃) on E. albidus was 2.7 g/L (or 0.5 g/kg dry weight of soil), far below those in A. vulgaris (at 15 ℃ and lower). The LC50 for worms at -1℃ was also significantly lower than at 6 ℃. Therefore, we can conclude: (1) that Q. saponaria saponins may be a successful slug control tool used during colder times of the year, but its concentration should be selected according to the age group of A. vulgaris; (2) this measure is more toxic than expected to white worms, which limits its use. View Full-Text
Keywords: plant extract; molluscicide; resistance; Arion; Enchytraeus plant extract; molluscicide; resistance; Arion; Enchytraeus
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MDPI and ACS Style

Adomaitis, M.; Skujienė, G. Lethal Doses of Saponins from Quillaja saponaria for Invasive Slug Arion vulgaris and Non-Target Organism Enchytraeus albidus (Olygochaeta: Enchytraeidae). Insects 2020, 11, 738. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11110738

AMA Style

Adomaitis M, Skujienė G. Lethal Doses of Saponins from Quillaja saponaria for Invasive Slug Arion vulgaris and Non-Target Organism Enchytraeus albidus (Olygochaeta: Enchytraeidae). Insects. 2020; 11(11):738. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11110738

Chicago/Turabian Style

Adomaitis, Mantas, and Grita Skujienė. 2020. "Lethal Doses of Saponins from Quillaja saponaria for Invasive Slug Arion vulgaris and Non-Target Organism Enchytraeus albidus (Olygochaeta: Enchytraeidae)" Insects 11, no. 11: 738. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11110738

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