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Issue No. 17, Article 2/July 18, 2008

Western Corn Rootworm Adults Are Active, Too

Although Japanese beetles have captured the bulk of the attention, it's important that we not forget about western corn rootworms. Although the numbers of western corn rootworm adults thus far in 2008 are a far cry from those we experienced in the middle of the decade, everyone knows that this species is a constant threat. Joe Spencer, research entomologist at the Illinois Natural History Survey, is finding western corn rootworm adults with relative ease in his set of experiments (some of them on farms) in Champaign County. He also noted that the beetles currently are engaged in the activity that results in more corn rootworms (the future for 2009), and his spectacular photograph is clear evidence.

A mating pair of western corn rootworm adults, July 2008 (photo courtesy of Joe Spencer, Illinois Natural History Survey).

Mike Roegge, University of Illinois Extension crop systems educator in Quincy, reported that Dave Simpson with AgVenture Seeds found western corn rootworm adults feeding on corn silks in a field south of Quincy on July 14. The numbers were not economic, but their presence in western counties of Illinois is worthy of note.--Kevin Steffey

Kevin Steffey

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