Seedcorn Beetles are literally fair-weather friends to corn plants, but a slow start to spring growth changes the relationship.
Seedcorn Beetle larvae live in soil where corn plants are grown. Adults and larvae eat underground invertebrates when they are available. Many pests to corn, like rootworms, are food sources for the beetle, which helps keep the roots of corn plants healthy. In these conditions, the Seedcorn Beetle is beneficial. If, however, cold, wet weather in spring delays corn seed from germinating and growing roots, pesky insects like cornseed maggots and wireworms that attack corn are not available to eat yet. In these conditions, the Seedcorn Beetle eats away at the corn seed itself in order to have something to eat. Replacing or replanting corn seed helps facilitate a corn harvest.
The tiny brown beetle has three obvious body sections: head, round thorax, and abdomen. Legs may appear pale yellow. Antennae are brown-black. Because its diet is preferably smaller insect larvae, it is only occasionally a pest to corn crops.
Scientific Name: Stenolophus spp.
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 8mm (0.20in to 0.31in)
Colors: brown; black; yellow
Descriptors: ridges; round neck; small; yellow legs; brown body
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Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.