University of Illinois

No. 10/May 30, 1997

Southern Corn Leaf Beetle Injury Confirmed

In last week's Bulletin, we indicated that several fields in southwestern Illinois were being injured by what appeared to be southern corn leaf beetles. Our guess was correct!

For the second year in a row, southern corn leaf beetles have been positively identified as the culprits. John Bouseman, an entomologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, confirmed our identification of beetles that were collected from cornfields in Jersey County. Matt Montgomery, Extension Unit Assistant for Crops in Fulton County, observed a cornfield on May 21 with 55 to 60 percent of the plants with leaf feeding. Clipping of plants (1- to 2-leaf stage) also was noted. We also have received some reports of southern corn leaf beetle injury to cornfields in Schuyler County. It's a little early to assume that this insect will be a regular problem from now on. However, with the number of cornfields affected in southwestern and western counties the last two seasons, we should be alert for the possible presence of this insect in 1998. For more details about the southern corn leaf beetle, please refer to last week's Bulletin (No. 9, May 23, 1997).

Mike Gray, Extension Entomology, (217)333-6652