Entomology, Department of
Date of this Version
1 The western corn rootworm Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte is a major insect pest of field maize, Zea mays L. Larvae can cause substantial injury by feeding on maize roots. Larval feeding may destroy individual roots or root nodes, and reduce plant growth, stability, and yield. Costs associated with managing corn rootworms in continuous maize are annually one of the largest expenditures for insect management in the United States Corn Belt.
2 Even though D. virgifera virgifera has been studied intensively for over 50 years, there is renewed interest in the biology, ecology, and genetics of this species because of its ability to rapidly adapt to management tactics, and its aggressive invasive nature.
3 This article provides a comprehensive review of D. virgifera virgifera population dynamics, specifically: diapause, larval and adult development, seasonality, spatial and temporal dynamics at local and landscape scales, invasiveness in North America and Europe, and non-trophic interactions with other arthropods.
4 Gaps in current knowledge are identified and discussed especially within the context of challenges that scientists in North America and Europe are currently facing regarding pest dynamics and the need to develop appropriate management strategies for each geographic area.
Published in Agricultural and Forest Entomology (2009), 11, 29–46.