Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/26/2003
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: A green house experiment was carried out in 2002 to evaluate dominant prairie grasses as hosts for larvae of the western corn rootworm. Twenty-five pots of each plant species were planted and five pots within each replication were randomly assigned a sample date for larval extraction. Five weeks after planting, pots were infested with 20 neonate western corn rootworm larvae using a moistened camel's hair paintbrush. At 5, 10, 15, and 20 d after infestation, the soil mixture and roots and larvae from the pots were placed in Berlese funnels equipped with 40 W light for larvae extraction. The percentage larvae recovered from the prairie grasses varied significantly between grasses. The highest number of larvae was recovered from corn and the lowest number from sorghum. Of the seven C3 grasses, western wheat grass, pubescent wheat grass, Canada wild rye, green needle grass, and slender wheat grass supported the growth of western corn rootworm larvae to the adult stage. Out of the fourteen C4 grasses, witch grasses, Indian grass, side oats gram, tall dropseed, sand dropseed prairie cordgrass, and galleta supported the growth of corn rootworm larvae to the adult stage. These data will be discussed from an evolutionary perspective, because corn was not grown in the area where corn rootworm adults were first found in 1868.