Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Two decades of invasive western corn rootworm population monitoring in Croatia.

Abstract

Western corn rootworm (WCR) is the worst pest of maize in the United States, and since its spread through Europe, WCR is now recognized as the most serious pest affecting maize production. After the beetle's first detection in Serbia in 1992, neighboring countries such as Croatia have established a national monitoring program. For more than two decades WCR adult population abundance and variability was monitored. With traditional density monitoring, more recent genetic monitoring, and the newest morphometric monitoring of WCR populations, Croatia possesses a great deal of knowledge about the beetle's invasion process over time and space. Croatia's position in Europe is unique as no other European nation has demonstrated such a detailed and complete understanding of an invasive insect. The combined use of traditional monitoring (attractant cards), which can be effectively used to predict population abundance, and modern monitoring procedures, such as population genetics and geometric morphometrics, has been effectively used to estimate inter- and intra-population variation. The combined application of traditional and modern monitoring techniques will enable more efficient control and management of WCR across Europe. This review summarizes the research on WCR in Croatia from when it was first detected in 1992 until 2018. An outline of future research needs is provided.