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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #285934

Title: Identification of feeding stimulants for Pacific coast wireworm by use of a filter paper assay (Coleoptera: Elateridae)

item Horton, David
item GUEDOT, CHRISTELLE - University Of Wisconsin
item Landolt, Peter

Submitted to: Journal of British Columbia Entomological Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/19/2012
Publication Date: 12/18/2012
Citation: Horton, D.R., Guedot, C., Landolt, P.J. 2012. Identification of feeding stimulants for Pacific coast wireworm by use of a filter paper assay (Coleoptera: Elateridae). Journal of British Columbia Entomological Society. 109:38-47.

Interpretive Summary: Wireworms in soil directly damage potatoes, sugar beets, and other crops by feeding on the tubers and roots. Difficulties in managing wireworms in potatoes have led to efforts by certain companies to develop an effective insecticide-laced bait. Scientists with USDA-ARS, Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, Wapato, WA explored how sugars and other plant compounds affect feeding by wireworms, with the objective to discover chemicals or materials that stimulate feeding. Their results showed that several sugars prompted substantially increased consumption of test substrates by wireworms. These studies identified compounds which could be added to insecticide-laced baits to increase consumption of baits by wireworms, with the potential to make baits more effective at killing wireworms.

Technical Abstract: Sugars and several plant essential oils were evaluated as feeding stimulants for larvae of Pacific coast wireworm, Limonius canus (Coleoptera: Elateridae). Compounds were evaluated by quantifying biting rates of wireworms on treated filter paper disks, modifying a method used previously in assays with Agriotes wireworms. Independent counts of the same disk showed that the method led to repeatable estimates of biting rate. Higher rates of biting were obtained on filter paper disks if those disks had been treated with sucrose, fructose, glucose, maltose, and galactose, than if the disks were left untreated. Sucrose and fructose were more stimulatory than the other 3 sugars. Biting rates declined with decreasing concentrations of sugars in water. Combining a highly stimulatory sugar (sucrose) with certain plant essential oils in some cases led to non-additive (both synergistic and antagonistic) effects on biting rates. We discuss the possible role for this type of assay in developing insecticide-laced baits for attract-and-kill programs.