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A Few Insect "Thumbnail" Reports

May 3, 2002
Following are a few brief reports of occurrences of a few insects in Illinois or elsewhere in the Midwest. More detailed articles about some of these insects will be provided in forthcoming issues of the Bulletin.

· Ron Hines, senior research specialist at the University of Illinois Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, captured the first European corn borer moth of the year in Pulaski County during the week of April 23-30. The first capture of a European corn borer moth in 2001 was on May 1.

· Leellen Solter, insect pathologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, evaluated samples of overwintering European corn borer larvae for disease organisms. The samples from DeKalb and Ford counties were gathered by Kevin Black, with Growmark. The results from DeKalb County--67% disease free, 16% infected with the microsporidum Nosema pyrausta, 11% with symptoms of infection by Beauveria bassiana. The results from Ford County--74% disease free, 15% infected with the microsporidum Nosema pyrausta, 11% with symptoms of infection by Beauveria bassiana. Nosema pyrausta does not kill overwintering borers; rather, the infection passes to the emerging adults, and infected females lay fewer eggs. Beauveria bassiana is a fungus organism that infects many insects, including European corn borers. Entomologists at Iowa State University found a large percentage of overwintering European corn borers killed by B. bassiana.

· Southern corn leaf beetles have been found feeding in cornfields in western and southwestern Missouri. After many years of silence, this pest has become more common in Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and elsewhere in recent years. I'll write an article about this pest in next week's issue of the Bulletin.

· Dale Burmester, crop specialist with Gateway FS at Redbud, found wheat curl mites in wheat in Randoph County. These mites vector wheat streak mosaic virus. Although not commonly problematic, this disease has caused significant injury in southern counties in the recent past.

· Large densities of bird-cherry oat aphids have been found in orchardgrass in west-central and southwestern Missouri. Refer to last week's Bulletin (issue no. 5, April 26, 2002) for more information about the bird cherry-oat aphid.

Keep looking and reporting. I'll include your information in the Bulletin so that others can benefit from your observations.--Kevin Steffey

Author: Kevin Steffey

The Pest Management and Crop Development Bulletin
Executive Editor: Kevin Steffey, Extension Entomologist

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