Differences in bifenthrin and fipronil susceptibility among invasive Latrodectus spp. (Araneae: Theridiidae) and nontarget spiders in Japan.
Prompt responses to invasive Latrodectus spiders introduced unintentionally are needed worldwide due to their medical and ecological importance. Latrodectus species are chemically controlled using pyrethroid insecticides despite concerns about the ecological impacts of these compounds on biodiversity/ecosystems. Here, the relative sensitivities (acute toxicity: 48-h LC50) of Latrodectus hasseltii Thorell and Latrodectus geometricus C.L. Koch from Japan to the conventional neurotoxic insecticide bifenthrin (pyrethroid) and a new candidate insecticide, fipronil (phenylpyrazole), were examined. Acute residual toxicity tests of these compounds in two nontarget spiders (Parasteatoda tepidariorum C.L. Koch (Araneae: Theridiidae), Badumna insignis L. Koch (Araneae: Desidae)) were conducted for comparison. To test whether bifenthrin and fipronil toxicities differed among the four spiders, corresponding species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) were compared, and hazardous concentrations were determined. Sensitivity (especially in the nontarget species) was two to four orders of magnitude higher for bifenthrin than for fipronil. The SSD patterns of the two insecticides differed significantly, with the spider communities being more sensitive to bifenthrin than to fipronil. The lethal bifenthrin concentration for Latrodectus may reduce spider populations by over 70-90%. If L. hasseltii (established throughout Japan) is targeted for effective population suppression rather than L. geometricus (with a limited distribution range) using the specified insecticide concentration (LC50 value) for fipronil, less than 20% of spider communities will be impacted. Chemical operations aimed at the effective population management and subsequent eradication of invasive Latrodectus spiders while supporting local biodiversity conservation would benefit from considerations of fipronil dosages and target species sensitivities.