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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

David D. Walgenbach


Seasonal flight activity and oviposition behavior of adult Diabrotica barberi Smith and Lawrence (NCR) and Q. virqifera virqifera LeConte (WCR) were studied in relation to varying sources of vegetative cover during 1986 and 1987 at three locations in east central South Dakota. Vegetative cover treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design replicated six times. Treatments included the following: corn, Zea mays L.; soybeans, Glycine max L.; simulated volunteer oats, Avena sativa L.; a mixture of green and yellow foxtail grasses, Setaria viridis Beauvais and lutescens Hubb.; common lambsquarters, Chenopodium album L.; redroot pigweed, Amaranthus retroflexus L.; and Pennsylvania smartweed, Polygonum pennylvanicum. sticky trap results indicated the presence of high beetle population levels within plot areas during both years of the study. Adults of both species preferred to remain within corn plots concurrent with availability of fresh silks. Males of both species prevailed within corn plots throughout duration of growing season. Females, however, demonstrated more mobility and, as silks dried became progressively more concentrated in non-corn treatment plots. Dispersal of WCR adults from corn occurred following senescence of corn plants, indicating that WCR also actively seek out alternative sources of plant cover as food sources diminish within the cornfield. These data suggest then, that WCR adults have a less specific host plant relationship with corn than was previously inferred. Preovipositional soil sampling (conducted across entire plot area at each study location) produced overall means of 1.81, 0.23, and 0.06 NCR eggs per 0.47 liter sample at Rutland, Aurora, and Wentworth, respectively, and indicated that negligible numbers of diapausal eggs were present. Using two soil sampling methods following the oviposition period, egg recovery was significantly higher in corn plots compared to non-corn plots, indicating that cornfields provide the preferred site for oviposition. This document contains two manuscripts written for publication in entomological journals. Research for these studies was performed during the 1986 and 1987 growing seasons on the Corn Insects Research project at South Dakota State University. Drs. David D. Walgenbach and Gary L. Hein participated with myself in conducting the research for these studies and co-authorship of both manuscripts will be shared with them.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Chrysomelidae -- Habitat

Corn -- Diseases and pests



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University