Journal of Entomological Science (2018) 53, 242-250

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Michael Karounos, Ron Cherry, Hardev Sandhu and Calvin Odero (2018)
Feeding behavior of Melanotus communis (Coleoptera: Elateridae) in Florida sugarcane
Journal of Entomological Science 53 (1), 242-250
Abstract: The corn wireworm, Melanotus communis (Gyllenhal), is the most important wireworm pest of sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrid) production in Florida. The feeding behavior of wireworms (larvae) at soil temperatures from 18 to 28°C characteristic of Florida sugarcane was determined in laboratory tests. In blind tests, we showed that small, smooth-skinned Baby Yukon Gold potatoes, Solanum tuberosum L., could be used to successfully detect even minor feeding by the wireworms. This technique may prove useful to other wireworm researchers. Feeding frequency and percentage of wireworms feeding increased with increasing soil temperatures. Similarly, there was a positive correlation of weight gain with soil temperature. Our data showed that, although slowing down in the winter, some feeding damage by the wireworms is expected throughout the year in Florida sugarcane. Lastly, we observed very high variability in wireworm feeding and weight change even under constant conditions. Overall, our experience in this study is consistent with the general theme that wireworm feeding and weight change are highly variable even under constant conditions.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Hardev S. Sandhu

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Melanotus communis Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) U.S.A. (SE)