Potential for habituation to a neem-based feeding deterrent in Japanese beetles, Popillia japonica

D. W. Held, T. Eaton, D. A. Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


We tested the potential for the Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica Newman, to habituate to a neem-based feeding deterrent applied to foliage of linden, Tilia cordata L., a preferred host for the adults. Female beetles' consumption of control foliage versus foliage treated with either a low or high rate of neem insecticide, corresponding to 9 or 39 pm azadirachtin, respectively, was tested in a series of 4-h choice or no-choice tests over four successive days. In another experiment, females were conditioned for 22 h with either control foliage, leaves treated with the low rate, or a mixture of both treated and untreated leaves. Deterrence of either the low or high rate of neem to these beetles was then evaluated in choice tests with control foliage, as before. In choice tests, mean consumption of control foliage was always greater than for treated foliage, regardless of rate. There was, however, proportionately more feeding on foliage treated with the high rate upon successive exposures. In no-choice tests, beetles initially deterred by the low rate were not significantly deterred by that rate by the third and fourth days of the experiment. Finally, beetles conditioned by exposure to leaves treated with the low rate were not deterred by that rate in a subsequent choice test, although they were deterred by the higher rate. Despite these trends, we suggest that Japanese beetles' polyphagy and mobility probably would reduce the likelihood for habituation to neem-based feeding deterrents in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Azadirachtin
  • Coleoptera
  • Habituation
  • Japanese beetle
  • Neem
  • Polyphagy
  • Popillia japonica
  • Scarabaeidae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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