Miscanthus, a host for larvae of a European population of Diabrotica v. virgifera


T. Thieme, BTL Bio-Test Labor GmbH Sagerheide, D-18184 Thulendorf, Germany.E-mail: tt@biotestlab.de


The EU policies for decreasing reliance on fossil fuels and reducing greenhouse gas emissions present challenging targets for bioenergy production. Field trials in Europe of Miscanthus×giganteus (Poales: Poaceae) over the past 20 years have shown that this plant is suitable for the production of biomass but the economic models promoting its use for this purpose often assume that controlling its pests will cost little or nothing. Laboratory experiments were conducted to determine whether this plant is suitable for the development of larvae of the western corn rootworm (WCR), Diabrotica virgifera virgifera (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), which is an important pest of maize. Larvae of WCR, originating from a Central and South Eastern European population, can develop on Miscanthus.