Soil insect pests of cold temperate zones of East Asia, including DPR Korea: A review

Stefan Toepfer, Hongmei Li, Song Gun Pak, Kyong Man Son, Yong Suk Ryang, Song Il Kang, Richou Han, Keith Holmes

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Food crops have come under increasing threat from soil insect pests as a result of monotonous use of arable land and the unavailability or ban of soil insecticides. The development of new management strategies is hindered by the limited knowledge of the identity and biology of local soil pests. A literature survey was carried out focusing on the cold temperate zones of East Asia (north-eastern China, far south-eastern Russia, both Koreas). As for DPR Korea, field surveys were added. At least 53 soil insect species appeared to have wide-ranging importance. The highest diversity of soil pests attack maize (at least 29 species), cereals (27), soybean (19), potato (19), other beans (16), peanut (16), fruit tree nurseries (14), followed by cabbage, sorghum, cotton, grassland habitats, and sweet potato. Most belong to the Melolonthidae (21 %), Scarabeidae (15 %), Noctuidae (13 %) or Elateridae (11 %). Genera containing the most species were the melolonthid Holotrichia (at least five species), scarabeid Anomala (5), agromyzid Delia (4) and noctuid Agrotis, melolonthid Maladera, and gryllotalpid Gryllotalpa (each three). Below-ground damaging pests appeared widely problematic across the cold temperate zones, probably due to the limited variety of crops suitable for rotation or strip cropping, and efficient adaptation of pests to the soil environment as a result of long overwintering periods. This review will, as a result of making some of a vast repository of non-English language information available, help to better understand the soil pest community in these regions, and support the development of more effective control methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-595
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Pest Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 5 2014


  • Below-ground arthropods
  • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Population dynamics
  • Republic of Korea
  • Root herbivores
  • Russian Federation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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    Toepfer, S., Li, H., Pak, S. G., Son, K. M., Ryang, Y. S., Kang, S. I., Han, R., & Holmes, K. (2014). Soil insect pests of cold temperate zones of East Asia, including DPR Korea: A review. Journal of Pest Science, 87(4), 567-595.