Cereal leaf beetle (coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) regional dispersion and relationship with wheat stand denseness

Dominic D. Reisig, Jack S. Bacheler, D. Ames Herbert, Ron Heiniger, Thomas Kuhar, Sean Malone, Chris Philips, M. Scott Tilley

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1 Scopus citations


Cereal leaf beetle, Oulema melanopus L., is a pest of small grains and the literature conflicts on whether it is more abundant in sparse or dense stands of wheat. Our objectives were to determine the impact of stand denseness on cereal leaf beetle abundance and to investigate the regional dispersion of cereal leaf beetles across North Carolina and Virginia. One-hundred twenty fields were sampled across North Carolina and Virginia during 2011 for stand denseness, and cereal leaf beetle eggs, larvae, and adults. Two small-plot wheat experiments were planted in North Carolina using a low and a high seeding rate. Main plots were split, with one receiving a single nitrogen application and one receiving two. Egg density, but not larva or adult density, was positively correlated with stand denseness in the regional survey. Furthermore, regional spatial patterns of aggregation were noted for both stand denseness and egg number. In the small-plot experiments, seeding rate influenced stand denseness, but not nitrogen application. In one experiment, egg densities per unit area were higher in denser wheat, while in the other experiment, egg densities per tiller were lower in denser wheat. Larvae were not influenced by any factor. Overall, there were more cereal leaf beetle eggs in denser wheat stands. Previous observations that sparse stands of wheat are more prone to cereal leaf beetle infestation can be attributed to the fact that sparser stands have fewer tillers, which increases the cereal leaf beetle to tiller ratio compared with denser stands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-433
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental entomology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partially funded by the USDA CSREES Regional Integrated Pest Management Competitive Grants Program Southern Region. In addition to the authors, scouting was performed by Dan Mott, Steven Roberson, and Timothy Clifton Moore.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.


  • Moran's I
  • Oviposition
  • Sampling
  • Spatial Distribution


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