Date of this Version
Journal of Economic Entomology, 112(6), 2019, 2737–2743
The northern corn rootworm, Diabrotica barberi Smith & Lawrence (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), is one of the most important insect pests in the U.S. Corn Belt. Efforts to obtain eggs from wild northern corn rootworm populations using techniques developed for other rootworm species have been unsuccessful due to lack of oviposition. In 2016, we evaluated four oviposition media in choice tests within each of three female densities in 30.5 × 30.5 × 30.5 cm BugDorm cages. The number of eggs laid per female was significantly affected by female density and the interaction of female density × oviposition media, but oviposition was relatively poor in all oviposition media (1.2 eggs per female when averaging the three female densities and all oviposition media). Single females were also evaluated in nonchoice assays in 6 cm × 6 cm × 8 cm clear plastic boxes and averaged up to 108 eggs per female depending on the oviposition media. In 2017, the cumulative number of eggs laid per female in boxes with one female was not significantly different from the number of eggs laid per female in boxes with 3 females. In 2018, the cumulative number of eggs laid per female was not significantly different between female densities of 1, 3, 5, or 10 females per box. Total egg production per box therefore increased as female density increased. More than 27,000 wild northern corn rootworm eggs were collected from just 190 females when collected relatively early in the field season. We now have an efficient and robust system for obtaining eggs from wild northern corn rootworm females.