In previous crop rotation research, adult emergence traps placed in plots planted to Cuphea PSR-23 (a selected cross of Cuphea viscosissma Jacq. and Cuphea lanceolata Ait.) caught high numbers of adult western corn rootworms, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), suggesting that larvae may have completed development on this broadleaf plant. Because of this observation, a series of greenhouse and field experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that Cuphea could serve as a host for larval development. Greenhouse-grown plants infested with neonates of a colonized nondiapausing strain of the beetle showed no survival of larvae on Cuphea, although larvae did survive on the positive control (corn, Zea mays L.) and negative control [sorghum, Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] plants. Soil samples collected 20 June, 7 July, and 29 July 2005 from field plots planted to Cuphea did not contain rootworm larvae compared with means of 1.28, 0.22, and 0.00 rootworms kg−1 soil, respectively, for samples collected from plots planted to corn. Emergence traps captured a peak of eight beetles trap−1 day−1 from corn plots on 8 July compared with a peak of 0.5 beetle trap−1 day−1 on 4 August from Cuphea plots. Even though a few adult beetles were again captured in the emergence traps placed in the Cuphea plots, it is not thought to be the result of successful larval development on Cuphea roots. All the direct evidence reported here supports the conventional belief that rootworm larvae do not survive on broadleaf plants, including Cuphea.
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Vol. 101 • No. 3