University of Illinois

No. 10/May 29, 1998

More Reports of Southern Corn Leaf Beetles

The telephone isn't ringing off the hook, but reports of southern corn leaf beetles feeding on seedling corn continue to trickle in. As has been the case during the past 2 years, most reports of injury by this insect are from western Illinois. Wayne Bailey, Extension entomologist at the University of Missouri, also has encountered this insect and has received reports of damage. In fact, he is following up on one situation in which unidentified larvae are feeding on root systems of seedling corn plants. Although southern corn leaf beetle larvae feed on corn roots, little to no information exists about the impact of their feeding activity. We will keep you posted if we learn anything new about larval injury.

We printed a more in-depth discussion of southern corn leaf beetles in issue no. 8 (May 15, 1998) of this Bulletin. Keep looking, and let us know if you find these critters. We are interested in learning as much as we can about this "old" insect that suddenly has become a "new" pest.

Kevin Steffey (, Extension Entomology, (217)333-6652