Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Predatory bugs can save cornfields

Date:
December 1, 2010
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
One of the worst pests of corn in the world, the corn rootworm, may owe its worldwide success partly to its larvae's nasty, sticky blood, according to researchers.

A larva of western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera).
Credit: Photo by Peggy Greb

One of the worst pests of corn in the world, the corn rootworm, may owe its worldwide success partly to its larvae's nasty, sticky blood.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist Jonathan G. Lundgren and his colleagues discovered this recently, working with CABI researchers in Delémont, Switzerland, and Hódmezővásárhely, Hungary. The discovery could lead to development of ways to overcome these defenses as part of sustainable, ecologically based pest management methods.

Lundgren works at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory in Brookings, S.D. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security. CABI is an international not-for-profit organization that researches natural ways of controlling pests, and they have been helping to lead the effort against corn rootworm's European invasion.

The experiments with CABI are the latest in Lundgren's research on corn rootworm predators. Although rootworms have been a major pest for 100 years, this is remarkably the first comprehensive research program on corn rootworm predators to be conducted.

In lab and field experiments in the United States and abroad, the rootworm larvae's sticky blood caused certain species of predators to quickly back off. The foul-tasting blood coagulated in the predators' mouths, temporarily gluing them shut. Predators repelled by the rootworm larvae's blood included ground beetles and ants.

Wolf spiders, on the other hand, had a hearty appetite for rootworms. When insects such as spiders suck fluids from prey rather than chewing their victims, they may be able to bypass the ability of the blood to stick and linger.

The experiments with CABI involved two years of lab and field experiments, begun in 2007, in the United States and Hungary. In the Brookings laboratory, Lundgren and colleagues offered hungry predators a smorgasbord of rootworm larvae and pupae. In all, they have tested 10 different predator species from Europe and North America.

The results have led Lundgren to research managing crop fields to encourage large and diverse predator populations.

Papers on this research have been published recently in Biocontrol Science and Technology, Ecological Applications, and the Journal of Applied Entomology. Also, a paper is scheduled for publication in Environmental Entomology.

Read more about the research in the November/December 2010 issue of Agricultural Research magazine, available online at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/nov10/predators1110.htm.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Don Comis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Predatory bugs can save cornfields." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130172043.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2010, December 1). Predatory bugs can save cornfields. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130172043.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Predatory bugs can save cornfields." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130172043.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) — A Harvard University study suggests monkeys can use symbols to perform basic math calculations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins