Abstract- A green house experiment was carried out in 2002, to evaluate dominant prairie grasses as alternate 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 WCR larvae using a moistened camel's hair paintbrush. At 5, 10, 15, and 20 d after infestation the soil mixture, roots and larvae of the randomly assigned pots were placed in Berleses 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 adult. 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 adult. These data fit into our longer term goals of viewing Diabrotica and their hosts from an evolutionary perspective.
Species 1: Coleoptera Chrysomelidae Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (western corn rootworm)
Keywords: prairie grasses
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