Although not yet available for cultivation in Brazil, the effect of Bt maize hybrids on natural enemies and soil dwelling arthropods should be assessed prior to its release to growers. Trials were carried out during one growing season in two different locations with the genetically modified maize hybrids 7590-Bt11 and Avant-ICP4, comparing with their respective non-Bt isogenic hybrids. Arthropods were evaluated through direct observation on plants and pitfall traps. In general, no differences were observed between populations of earwig (Dermaptera: Forficulidae), lady beetles (Coleptera: Coccinellidae), minute pirate bug (Coleoptera: Anthocoridae), ground beetles (Carabidae), tiger beetles (Cicindelidae), and spiders (Araneae). There was no difference in egg parasitism of Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) by Trichogramma sp. (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae). Thus, Bt maize hybrids expressing insecticide proteins Cry1A(b) and VIP 3A do not cause reduction of the main maize dweeling predators and parasitoids.
Spodoptera frugiperda; Helicoverpa zea; genetically modified crop; maize pests; soil dwelling arthropods