Diabrotica virgifera LeConte, 1858

Taxonomy: Polyphaga > Chrysomeloidea > Chrysomelidae > Diabrotica > Diabrotica virgifera

Common name: 

Western Corn Rootworm


Size: 5-6mm
Basic colour: Yellow
Pattern colour: Elytra yellow with wide dark sutural band and lateral longitudinal band; these may be joined by a wide transverse band.
Number of spots: None
Pronotoum: Yellow, occasionally with small brown marks.
Leg colour: Darkened with femora yellow beneath

Widespread in North and Central America where it is a major pest of maize. Found at several locations in Surrey and Berkshire in 2003, and and persisted around Gatwick & Heathrow Airports until 2007. Following extermination efforts, there have been no records since then, hence it may have been successfully exterminated in Britain although this is not absolutely certain and it is spreading in several southern European countries.


Status: Invasive species found mainly near major airports
Habitat: On maize crops (or transported in transported maize), though originally a more general grassland species.
Host plant: Maize
Overwintering: Unknown in the UK
Food: Adults on maize and other grassland species, larvae exclusively on maize.
Other notes: Capable of long-distance migratory flights (20-100 km/year)

Distribution (may take a minute to appear)