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Biology of Systena frontalis1 with Special Reference to Corn2

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The red-headed flea beetle, Systena frontalis (F.), was studied to assess its potential role as a pest of corn. The studies were centered in northwestern Iowa where the beetle had occurred in greatest density.

In August 1968, 47 counties were surveyed to deter- mine the density of flea beetles and their frequency of feeding on corn and weed hosts. The main host of the flea beetle was smartweed. Polygonum pensylvanicum L., but several other hosts were recorded for the first time.

Eggs, collected from adults brought into the laboratory, required an exposure to cold before hatching occurred, but up to 70% hatched after various periods of exposure at 5. Only 1 adult was obtained from 1370 larvae placed on an artificial diet.

The damage caused by the flea beetle is minor com pared with the rootworm infestations occurring in the area where red-headed flea beetles arc most abundant in Iowa.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1971

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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