File(s) not publicly available

Unexpected larval habit of Listronotus bonariensis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) raises questions about population dynamics analysis and management

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 21:42 authored by Mark McNeillMark McNeill, Chikako van KotenChikako van Koten, Stephen GoldsonStephen Goldson
Listronotus bonariensis (Kuschel) is a pest of agriculturally important graminaceous species, with mining larvae that kill the stems of the host plants. In this study, larval populations were measured in spring and summer in irrigated dairy grassland comprising Lolium perenne L. (cv. Nui) with and without the endophyte Epichloë festucae var. lolii Latch, M.J. Chr. and Samuels and Poa annua L.. Larvae were extracted from tillers taken from the swards of these two grass species and extracted from turves, and L. bonariensis population densities were estimated from tiller and turf larval counts on a m−2 basis. Over the study period, the total number of larvae and larval densities extracted from turves was on average 2× greater than indicated from tillers. In most seasons, larval densities from turves were significantly higher than those from the tillers, though there was no correlation between tiller and turf larval densities. Mean head capsule widths of larvae emerging from turf samples showed significant seasonal effects compared with tillers, while mean head capsule widths of all four instars were significantly greater when extracted from tillers compared with turves. There was a significant endophyte effect on head capsule widths of larvae collected in summer, but the effect was not consistent across instars or source. Conversely, no significant endophyte effect on head capsule width was found in spring populations from either tillers or turves. This study shows that in irrigated dairy pasture, a high proportion of L. bonariensis larvae can live externally of tillers, presumably among the organic matter around the base of grasses in irrigated dairy pasture, and that density estimates based only on tiller populations will have significantly underestimated actual numbers. Having a precise indication of larval population densities is essential when developing life tables or determining economic damage threshold levels.


Rights statement

© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH


  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No



Journal title

Journal of Applied Entomology




McNeill, M. R., van Koten, C., & Goldson, S. L. (2021). Unexpected larval habit of Listronotus bonariensis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) raises questions about population dynamics analysis and management. Journal of Applied Entomology, 145(6), 587-600. doi:10.1111/jen.12873

Usage metrics


    Ref. manager