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Autumn activity of adult Agriotes lineatus (Linnaeus) (Coleoptera: Elateridae) in southwestern British Columbia

Kabaluk, T. 2016. Autumn activity of adult Agriotes lineatus (Linnaeus) (Coleoptera: Elateridae) in southwestern British Columbia. The Coleopterists Bulletin 70(3) 634-637.

Abstract

Agriotes spp. L. (Coleoptera: Elateridae) larvae (wireworms) are pests of arable crops whose adult stage, click beetles, is widely regarded as being active only in the spring and summer. A. lineatus click beetles of both sexes were observed crawling on the soil surface at a farm near Courtenay, British Columbia (Vancouver Island) on 26 September 2013, 9 October 2014, and between 25 September and 3 October 2015. The cohort of A. lineatus found in soil cores included 1 - 6.1% early instar larvae, suggesting late season oviposition of beetles. Beetle activity during the autumn, while unusual, may have been a previously unnoticed but natural phenomenon. Alternatively, it may be related to above-normal seasonal temperatures but nevertheless has implications for targeting beetles and larvae for crop protection, and the potential role of climate change in exacerbating the pestilence of wireworms. The A. lineatus population on Vancouver Island is unusual in that beetles fly en masse during the warmest days in April and May, while mass flight of Agriotes spp. elsewhere in North America has not been reported.

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