Comparative efficacy assessment of fungi, nematodes and insecticides to Control western corn rootworm larvae in maize

Christina Pilz, Siegfried Keller, Ulrich Kuhlmann, Stefan Toepfer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


All three larval instars of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte (western corn rootworm, Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) feed on the roots of maize, Zea mays (L.). We assessed the efficacies of the following four agents in controlling these larvae: (1) the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (Metsch.) Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae), (2) the nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Poinar (Nematoda: Rhabditida), (3) a tefluthrin-based soil insecticide and (4) clothianidin-coated seeds. The agents were applied in field plot experiments in southern Hungary in 2006 and 2007. Efficacy was assessed by comparing the number of emerging D. v. virgifera adults and corresponding root damage among treatments and untreated controls. All agents significantly reduced D. v. virgifera numbers and root damage, but the relative success of each treatment was variable. On average across fields and years, the nematode and the two insecticides reduced D. v. virgifera by 65±34% SD, while the fungus reduced D. v. virgifera by 31±7%. According to the node injury scale, the agents prevented 23-95% of potential root damage. Large-scale commercialisation of these biological agents could offer viable and practical control options against D. v. virgifera.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-684
Number of pages14
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2009


  • Clothianidin
  • Diabrotica virgifera virgifera
  • Heterorhabditis bacteriophora
  • Inundative biological control
  • Metarhizium anisopliae
  • Seed coating
  • Soil insecticides
  • Tefluthrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science

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