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Western Corn Rootroom larva
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Western Corn Rootroom - larva
See also: adult | damage

Scientific Name: Chrysomelidae: Diabrotica virgifera LeConte

Status: serious pest of corn

Damaging Stage: larvae and adult beetle

Biology: Adults are approximately 1/4 inch long and yellow with three black stripes running down the lengths of the wing covers. The wing covers of males may be entirely black except for narrow yellow margins and yellow tips. Western corn rootworm larvae are cream-colored and approximately 1/2 inch long. They have a brown head capsule and are generally found in corn or soybean fields.

The western corn rootworm life cycle is similar to that of the northern corn rootworm. Adults emerge and mate in midsummer, and females begin laying eggs about two weeks after emergence. The eggs hatch the following spring. The newly hatched larvae find their way to corn roots, bore in, and begin feeding. The larval stage lasts about three weeks, then they move into the soil to pupate.