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Biology of the Sweetclover Root Borer

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Limited field observations from 1966 to 1969 extended the known distribution of Walshia miscecolorella (Chambers) in sweetclover from Texas to South Dakota. Damage to sweetclover in Nebraska appeared similar to that reported from Texas except that plant mortality did not become noticeable during the fall of the 1st year of plant growth. However, by 1968, when populations of W. miscecolorella were heavy in Nebraska, many badly damaged plants failed to make regrowth the following spring.

In southeastern Nebraska, 2 generations are completed in a season. Overwintering occurs primarily in the larval stage, and pupation generally occurs in the soil but may take place in the host plant. Two species of Ichneumonidae were detected parasitizing pupae, but no other parasites were found. In nature W. miscecolorella completed its development in several species of sweetclover, Melilotus spp., but not in red clover, Trifolium Pratense L., or in alfalfa, Medicago sativa L., that were growing nearby. Either a biotype of W. miscecolorella with a host preference for sweetclover developed in Texas and spread slowly northward or the species has always been present in sweetclover but in such low numbers that it was not detected.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 15, 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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