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Seedcorn Beetle (Stenolophus spp.)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Seedcorn Beetle



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Image Credit: Laurel A.
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Seedcorn Beetles are literally fair-weather friends to corn plants, but a slow start to spring growth changes the relationship.



Updated: 12/09/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Rounded insect body icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Carabidae
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          Genus: Stenolophus
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            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Stenolophus spp.
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 8mm (0.19" to 0.31")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; black; yellow
Descriptors: ridges; round neck; small; yellow legs; brown body
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 5mm and 8mm
Lo: 5mm
Md: 6.5mm
Hi: 8mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Seedcorn Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Seedcorn Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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