The rice grasshopper Oxya chinensis exhibits polymorphic loci at Ldh, Gpi, Pgm and Me. The data of the mean number of alleles per locus (A = 2.8), percentage of polymorphic loci (P = 80.0%), the observed mean heterozygosities (Ho = 0.271 approximately 0.279) and the expected mean heterozygosities (He = 0.305 approximately 0.316) of the species suggest that O. chinensis possesses sufficient genetic diversity. It was hypothesized that the high polymorphisms at Ldh, Gpi, Pgm and Me might make it possible for pesticide avermectin to act as a selective agent through differential lethality among the insect individuals with different genotypes. In this study a total of 855 grasshoppers were injected with avermectin (1.3 x 10(-2) g/g) to obtain a mortality of 54% after 24 hours. The allozyme analysis was then employed to determine the genotypes of Ldh, Gpi, Pgm and Me for both dead and surviving individuals. Contingency table chi2 tests showed that avermectin displayed random lethal effects on the genotypes at the loci of Ldh, Pgm and Me, without correlation between the genotype and mortality. In contrast, at Gpi locus, the grasshopper demonstrated a mortality cline of Gpi-AA (38%), Gpi-AB (51%), Gpi-BB (58%) and Gpi-BC (74%). The significant mortality differences were found among the following genotype pairs: Gpi-AA vs. Gpi-BB, Gpi-AA vs. Gpi-BC and Gpi-AB vs. Gpi-BC. These data implied the Gpi-AA genotype was likely related to the specie's resistance to the pesticide avermectin. It was also noted that the Gpi-A allele was present in the genotypes with low morality,while Gpi-B was present in the genotypes with moderate mortality, and the individuals with Gpi-C allele exhibited the highest mortality. The data obtained in this study suggested that the increasing proportion of Gpi-AA genotype and perhaps Gpi-A allele in a population may be useful as a potential resistant biomarker of O. chinensis to pesticide avermectin.