With the recent commercialization of transgenic rootworm-resistant maize with high levels of antibiosis to larval feeding, the biology of western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, on hosts beyond maize, Zea mays L., has become an important topic for which data are limited. Larval survivorship and growth parameters were monitored on the roots of 29 plant species comprised of maize, maize-field weeds, native prairie grasses, forage grasses, and small grain crops. Data on larval recovery and growth (measured as increases in head capsule width and accumulation of dry weight) were recorded at five samplings (6, 10, 14, 20, and 24 d) after initial infestation of the 29 species. Recovery and growth parameters were analyzed for inter- and intraspecific differences within and among sampling dates. Larvae survived at least 6 d after infestation on 27 species and 24 d on 23 plant species. Larval recovery and growth were impacted by both species and time after infestation. Growth and development of larvae were significantly slower on most plant species beyond maize; however, 18 of the species had larvae develop to the second instar, whereas larvae on 14 species developed to the third instar. Adults were recovered from five plant species in addition to maize. Because rootworm-resistant transgenic maize with high levels of antibiosis has become a part of the agroecosystem, weeds in grassy maize fields as well as adjacent forage grass species may become more important in the western corn rootworm life cycle, particularly because genes conferring resistance to postemergent herbicides such as glyphosate are stacked with transgenic rootworm-resistant maize hybrids.
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