Azadirachtin is the most effective compound of the neem tree, Azadirachta indica A. Juss, with insecticidal and growth disruption properties on several species of insects. Its effects on the development and survival of Spodoptora littoralis (Boisduval) were studied under laboratory conditions. Third-instar larvae were individually fed on artificial diet treated with azadirachtin (from 0.01 ppm to 1 ppm wt/v), for two days, and transferred to plain diet. Survival, duration of stages and deformities were recorded daily. In a second experiment, the effects of azadirachtin on 3rd instar larvae and on last instar larvae were compared, by feeding the larvae with treated diet (0.3 ppm, 0.6 ppm and a control group), during the same period. A two-day feeding period promoted prolongation of the larval instars, reduction in the Mean Relative Growth Rate (MRGR), moulting disruption, morphological anomalies and mortality of S. littoralis in a dose-dependent manner. When higher concentrations were applied, the effects appeared shortly after treatment and mortality was higher. Many insects died after remaining inactive for several days or during prolonged moulting. At lower concentrations, if moulting was achieved, growth disruption and abnormalities were then likely to occur at the next moulting cycles. When azadirachtin was fed to last-instar larvae, larva-pupa intermediates were formed and the mortality was higher then for 3rd-instar larvae. Azadirachtin showed promissing for the control of the species not only for causing mortality but also for disrupting the development and for causing deformities involved in vital activities like feeding, walking or flying, making the insect vulnerable to several sorts of mortality agents or prevent them from causing damage to the crop.
Martinez, S. S., & Van Emden, H. F. (2001). Growth disruption, abnormalities and mortality of Spodoptera littoralis (Boisduval) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) caused by azadirachtin. Neotropical Entomology, 30(1), 113–125. https://doi.org/10.1590/s1519-566x2001000100017