Little information is available concerning the insect pests of
wild rice. Jenks ( 1901) stated that caterpillars were serious pests
of wild rice in the Rainy River area, and he referred also to the
rice water weevil (Lissorhoptrus simplex). Moyle (1944) reported
that "armyworms (Agrotis sp.)" occasionally injured
wild rice by feeding on the kernels. Authors of this publication*
have never observed armyworms causing this type injury, and
believe that Moyle was referring to the wild riceworm, Apamea
apamiformis (Guenee), which, currently, is the most important
insect pest of wild rice. In the late 1950s, the riceworm was
reported to be a pest of wild rice in Canada (Hammond, 1957,
1958, 1959). MacKay and Rockbume (1958) described the life
history of the riceworm on wild rice in Canada and reported
extensive injury to the seeds by the larvae. In 1960, the riceworm
was reported to be a serious pest of wild rice in commercial
paddies near Zim, Minnesota. Young larvae ate out the
kernels and older larvae bored in the plants. Furthermore, the
rice worm was a nuisance because larvae were flailed out with the
rice at harvest (personal communication from Richard Swartz,
October 4, 1960). Melvin (1966) published observations on
insects attacking wild rice in Manitoba, and he concluded that the
two most common pests were the riceworm and the rice stalk
borer, Chilo plejadellus Zinc ken. He outlined the life history of
the rice stalk borer and recovered the parasite, Chelonus knabi
Vier. from the stalk borer larvae. However, he believed that
parasites were not important in controlling stalk borers.
As a result of recent increased acreages of wild rice grown in
commercial paddies, there was a demand for additional knowledge
concerning insect pests and how to control them. The
present studies were begun in 1970, funded by the Minnesota
Agricultural Experiment Station in cooperation with the Departments
of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, Plant Pathology, Soil
Science, and Agricultural Engineering.
Peterson, A.G. et al..
Insects of Wild Rice in Minnesota.
Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.
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