Qualitative Determination, Quantitative Evaluation and Comparative Insecticidal Potential of Ruta Graveolens Essential Oil and Its Major Constituents in the Management of Two Stored Pests Sitophilus Zeamais (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) And Corcyra Cephalon

  • A.G.W.U. Perera Department of Zoology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
  • M.M.S.C. Karunaratne Department of Zoology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
  • S.D.M. Chinthaka Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka
Keywords: Ruta graveolens, Sitophilus zeamais, Corcyra cephalonica, contact insecticidal activity, long chain aliphatic methyl ketones


Eco-chemical control based on essential oil mediated plant-insect interactions is an alternative method to the unsystematic use of insecticides, due to advanced structural diversity and allelopathic potential of essential oils. In this sense, present work was aimed at qualitative and quantitative investigation of chemical composition and the evaluation of insecticidal activities of Ruta graveolens essential oil and its major constituents against Sitophilus zeamais and Corcyra cephalonica in stored maize. Fresh leaves were subjected to hydrodistillaton and the chemical composition of oil was studied. Essential oil and its major constituents were then assessed for their allelopathic activity on test insects. Fifty components were identified, where long chain aliphatic 2-methyl ketones predominated the oil as major constituents. Results revealed strong concentration-, insect species- and time-dependent toxicities, in which oil caused 100 % mortalities at concentrations of 1.52 and 0.46 µL/cm2 against S. zeamais and C. cephalonica respectively after 24 hours of exposure. In aliphatic 2-methyl ketone series, respective congeners having odd and even number of carbon atoms were more effective on S. zeamais and C. cephalonica. These findings provide a scientific basis for the eco-potential of using essential oil of R. graveolens and its major constituents in integrated insect pest management programs.


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