Catabolism of Indoxacarb and Other Na Channel Blocker Insecticides

Relatively little is known about the metabolic breakdown of indoxacarb or other SCBIs in insects. On balance, it is clear that bioactivation is occurring much more rapidly than degradation after field application, when satisfactory insect control is observed. However, like any other novel insecticide, resistance management will be a key to maintaining the agricultural utility of this insecticide class.

Indeed, several field populations of North American oblique-banded leafroller (Choristoneura rosaceana) have shown a degree of insensitivity to indoxacarb, which is unique for Lepidoptera (Ahmad et al., 2002). Though this insect has never been exposed to indox-acarb for commercial control in the field, it has been treated with several other insecticide classes, including a number of organophosphates. Current studies indicate that resistant strains of this leafroller may be able to catabolize indoxacarb more rapidly than susceptible strains; the specific mechanisms and metabolites are currently being characterized (Hollingworth et al., unpublished data).

Interestingly, indoxacarb is apparently degraded primarily by higher animals via routes including cytochrome p450 mediated attack of the indanone and oxadiazine rings, while N-decarbomethoxy-lation is a relatively minor pathway (EPA, 2000; Scott, 2000). The rapid metabolic degradation is a critical factor responsible for the high nontarget animal safety of indoxacarb.

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