Three studies were conducted to determine the effect of preceding crop on wireworm (Coleoptera: Elateridae) abundance in the coastal plain of North Carolina. In all three studies, samples of wireworm populations were taken from the soil by using oat, Avena sativa L., baits. Treatments were defined by the previous year's crop and were chosen to reflect common crop rotations in the region. Across all three studies, eight wireworm species were recovered from the baits: Conoderus amplicollis (Gyllenhal), Conoderus bellus (Say), Conoderus falli (Lane), Conoderus lividus (Degeer), Conoderus scissus (Schaeffer), Conoderus vespertinus (F.), Glyphonyx bimarginatus (Schaeffer), and Melanotus communis (Gyllenhal). The effect of corn, Zea mays L.; cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L.; fallow; soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr.; sweet potato, Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.; and tobacco (Nicotiana spp.) was evaluated in a small-plot replicated study. M. communis was the most frequently collected species in the small-plot study and was found in significantly higher numbers following soybean and corn. The mean total number of wireworms per bait (all species) was highest following soybean. A second study conducted in late fall and early spring assessed the abundance of overwintering wireworm populations in commercial fields planted to corn, cotton, peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), soybean, sweet potato, and tobacco in the most recent previous growing season. C. lividus was the most abundant species, and the mean total number of wireworms was highest following corn and soybean. A survey was conducted in commercial sweet potato in late spring and early summer in fields that had been planted to corn, cotton, cucurbit (Cucurbita pepo L.), peanut, soybean, sweet potato, or tobacco in the most recent previous growing season. C. vespertinus was the most abundant species, and the mean total number of wireworms per bait was highest following corn.
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Vol. 103 • No. 6