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Damage caused in maize production and hybrid multiplication by species of the family Anthicidae

Damage caused in maize production and hybrid multiplication by species of the family Anthicidae

Novenytermeles 51(3): 323-329

ISSN/ISBN: 0546-8191

Fungal attacks on maize ca0,rs by Fusarium spp. lead to severe yield losses in Hungary nearly every year. The severity of the damage is influenced by ecological factors (e.g. late sowing, susceptible varieties, hybrids with long vegetation periods, high plant densities, foggy or humid weather in late summer etc.) as well as by damage by insect pests, like the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis Hbn. Various maize varieties were included in comparative studies on industrial-size plots at the Bacsalmas Sunflower Production Company in 1994. In the course of studies on the incidence of fusariosis disease, minute beetles were observed to be feeding on the ends of cars not covered by husk leaves. These beetles, measuring 4-6 mm, were found to belong to the Anthicidae family of the Heteromera group. The species Noloxus brachycerus Fald., Notoxus appendicinus Desbr. and Formicomus pedestris Rossi were the most common by observed. Both coleopterous genera (Notoxus and Formicomus) feed on maize seeds by the end of July or early August. Each car may contain as many as 10-15 beetles with injure young seeds in the waxy ripe stage. The partly consumed seeds present good growing conditions for Fusarium fungi, that may spread under suitable humid weather conditions to the whole car, causing not only yield reductions but also the appearance of fungal toxins dangerous for domestic animals andb humans. Earlier data in the literature reported the mass appearance of anthicid beetles as scavengers on the cadavers of other Coleoptera containg cantharidin, especially on Meloc species. Further research will be required to establish whether the feeding of Anthicidae on maize signaled a change in their originally necrophagous feeding habits or it whether was caused by the prolonged drought that prevailed in Hungary in 1994.

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Accession: 070554521

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