Wing shape and size of the western corn rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) is related to sex and resistance to soybean-maize crop rotation
The western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, is a major pest of maize in the United States and more recently, Europe. Understanding the dispersal dynamics of this species will provide crucial information for its management. This study used geometric morphometric analysis of hind wing venation based on 13 landmarks in 223 specimens from nine locations in Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri, to assess whether wing shape and size differed between rotated and continuously grown maize where crop rotation-resistant and susceptible individuals are found, respectively. Before assessing differences between rotation-resistant and susceptible individuals, sexual dimorphism was investigated. No significant difference in wing (centroid) size was found between males and females; however, females had significantly different shaped (more elongated) wings compared with males. Wing shape and (centroid) size were significantly larger among individuals from rotated maize where crop-rotation resistance was reported; however, cross-validation of these results revealed that collection site resistance status was an only better than average predictor of shape in males and females. This study provides preliminary evidence of wing shape and size differences in D. v. virgifera from rotated versus continuous maize. Further study is needed to confirm whether wing shape and size can be used to track the movement of rotation-resistant individuals and populations as a means to better inform management strategies.