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Toxicity and insect growth regulatory activities of medicinal plant, Withania somnifera, in flesh fly, Sarcophaga ruficornis (Diptera: Sarcophagidae)

Journal of Basic and Applied Zoology. 2020;81(1):1-14 DOI 10.1186/s41936-020-00154-2


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Journal Title: Journal of Basic and Applied Zoology

ISSN: 2090-9896 (Print); 2090-990X (Online)

Publisher: SpringerOpen

Society/Institution: Egyptian Society for Biosciences Advancement

LCC Subject Category: Science: Zoology

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Sandeep Kumar Gaur (Department of Zoology, University of Allahabad)

Krishna Kumar (Department of Zoology, University of Allahabad)


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

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Time From Submission to Publication: 47 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Abstract Background The flesh fly Sarcophaga ruficornis is well known for its medical and veterinary importance in causing myiasis in humans and animals. The conventional use of chemical pesticides for controlling insect pests has resulted in environmental pollution besides posing serious hazards to non-target organisms and the development of pest resistance against these compounds. Considering the various harmful and adverse effects of chemical pesticides, an alternative and safe approach for the pest management has to be explored. The plant extracts derived from plants are eco-friendly in nature, easily biodegradable, and can be used as botanical pesticides. Results Extracts from root of the medicinal plant Withania somnifera were assessed for their toxicity and insect growth regulatory activity when administered to larvae of S. ruficornis. Topical administration of root extracts of W. somnifera to 0–3-day-old third instar larvae of S. ruficornis resulted into severe disruption of development, moulting, and metamorphosis producing several detrimental effects such as toxicity, prolongation of larval life, ecdysial stasis, abnormal pupariation, reduced normal pupariation and adult emergence, and development of pupal-adult mosaics and adultoids. The LC50 values in topical application of root extracts of W. somnifera were 28.19, 43.49, 47.48, and 48.16 g/μL against S. ruficornis third instar day 0, 1, 2, and 3 larvae, respectively. Conclusion These effects are similar to those observed as a consequence of the administration of juvenile hormone analogs (juvenoids) and may be due to interference with the normal hormonal mechanism of moulting and metamorphosis. This clearly demonstrates that the root extracts of W. somnifera may be used as an insect growth regulator for the control and management of S. ruficornis along with other bio-rational approaches in integrated pest management programs.