Larvae of Eleodes spp., known as false wireworms, have been occasionally registered attacking seeds and seedlings of different plant species grown in the cold climate of the Cundi-Boyacense Highlands of Colombia. They seem to be pests of agricultural importance to plants in greenhouses at ∼24°C. Damage observed for the first time by larvae of this tenebrionid identified as Eleodes longicollis punctigerus Blaisdell acting as a cutworm of tomatoes, Solanum lycopersicum L., with long-shelf life in greenhouses was evaluated and characterized at the Universidad de Ciencias Aplicadas y Ambientales U.D.C.A. Damage to recently-transplanted seedlings ranged from 15 to 72%, necessitating reseeding, which considerably increased production costs. A significant relationship (Spearman's 0.92) was found between the percentage of cut seedlings and mean number of larvae per site. The use of carbaryl-based toxic bait controlled the pest satisfactorily, killing many larvae, which allowed estimation of the population within the greenhouse. This report could be of importance to other tomato-growing regions because the genus Eleodes is widely distributed from Canada to Mexico and probably farther south.
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Vol. 39 • No. 1