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Datasheet

Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus
(rice water weevil)

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Datasheet

Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus (rice water weevil)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 14 July 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus
  • Preferred Common Name
  • rice water weevil
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Many countries and economies where this insect occurs as a non native treat it as invasive, having a major impact on rice production fairly rapidly after introduction. Given the large expanses of some areas dedicated to rice production, the insect is...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Egg white, cylindrical and elongate, 0.8 x 0.2 mm, oviposited in submerged leaf sheaths on lower half of rice plant.
TitleEgg
CaptionEgg white, cylindrical and elongate, 0.8 x 0.2 mm, oviposited in submerged leaf sheaths on lower half of rice plant.
CopyrightJames Litsinger
Egg white, cylindrical and elongate, 0.8 x 0.2 mm, oviposited in submerged leaf sheaths on lower half of rice plant.
EggEgg white, cylindrical and elongate, 0.8 x 0.2 mm, oviposited in submerged leaf sheaths on lower half of rice plant.James Litsinger
White, legless grub, head capsule width 0.16-4.5 mm, body length 1.5 mm (first-instar larva) to 8 mm (fourth-instar larva).
TitleLarva
CaptionWhite, legless grub, head capsule width 0.16-4.5 mm, body length 1.5 mm (first-instar larva) to 8 mm (fourth-instar larva).
CopyrightS.S. Quisenberry
White, legless grub, head capsule width 0.16-4.5 mm, body length 1.5 mm (first-instar larva) to 8 mm (fourth-instar larva).
LarvaWhite, legless grub, head capsule width 0.16-4.5 mm, body length 1.5 mm (first-instar larva) to 8 mm (fourth-instar larva).S.S. Quisenberry
Rice root weevil larva on roots. Larvae have paired curved dorsal tracheal hooks on second through seventh abdominal segments.
TitleLarva
CaptionRice root weevil larva on roots. Larvae have paired curved dorsal tracheal hooks on second through seventh abdominal segments.
CopyrightJames Litsinger
Rice root weevil larva on roots. Larvae have paired curved dorsal tracheal hooks on second through seventh abdominal segments.
LarvaRice root weevil larva on roots. Larvae have paired curved dorsal tracheal hooks on second through seventh abdominal segments.James Litsinger
Rice root weevil breathing tubes that attach to root.
TitleBreathing tubes
CaptionRice root weevil breathing tubes that attach to root.
CopyrightJames Litsinger
Rice root weevil breathing tubes that attach to root.
Breathing tubesRice root weevil breathing tubes that attach to root.James Litsinger
Mature fourth-instar larvae form a mud cocoon in a prepupal stage (1-2 days), with the cocoon attached to the root.
TitlePrepupal stage
CaptionMature fourth-instar larvae form a mud cocoon in a prepupal stage (1-2 days), with the cocoon attached to the root.
CopyrightJames Litsinger
Mature fourth-instar larvae form a mud cocoon in a prepupal stage (1-2 days), with the cocoon attached to the root.
Prepupal stageMature fourth-instar larvae form a mud cocoon in a prepupal stage (1-2 days), with the cocoon attached to the root.James Litsinger
Pupa formed in an oval, water-tight mud cell attached to plant roots.
TitlePupae
CaptionPupa formed in an oval, water-tight mud cell attached to plant roots.
CopyrightJames Litsinger
Pupa formed in an oval, water-tight mud cell attached to plant roots.
PupaePupa formed in an oval, water-tight mud cell attached to plant roots.James Litsinger
Dark-brown to black with grey scales; small, oblong (2.8 x 1.2-1.8 mm).
TitleAdult
CaptionDark-brown to black with grey scales; small, oblong (2.8 x 1.2-1.8 mm).
CopyrightS.S. Quisenberry
Dark-brown to black with grey scales; small, oblong (2.8 x 1.2-1.8 mm).
AdultDark-brown to black with grey scales; small, oblong (2.8 x 1.2-1.8 mm).S.S. Quisenberry
Root pruning by larvae causes stunting and chlorosis of seedling plants and lodging.
TitleDamage to rice roots
CaptionRoot pruning by larvae causes stunting and chlorosis of seedling plants and lodging.
CopyrightS.S. Quisenberry
Root pruning by larvae causes stunting and chlorosis of seedling plants and lodging.
Damage to rice rootsRoot pruning by larvae causes stunting and chlorosis of seedling plants and lodging.S.S. Quisenberry
Adults rasp the leaf epidermis, leaving skeletonized, longitudinal, slit-like scars on the upper leaf surface.
TitleSymptoms on leaves
CaptionAdults rasp the leaf epidermis, leaving skeletonized, longitudinal, slit-like scars on the upper leaf surface.
CopyrightJames Litsinger
Adults rasp the leaf epidermis, leaving skeletonized, longitudinal, slit-like scars on the upper leaf surface.
Symptoms on leavesAdults rasp the leaf epidermis, leaving skeletonized, longitudinal, slit-like scars on the upper leaf surface. James Litsinger

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus Kuschel

Preferred Common Name

  • rice water weevil

Other Scientific Names

  • Lissorhoptrus simplex auctt., nec Say

International Common Names

  • English: American water weevil; lesser water weevil
  • Spanish: gorgojo acuatico del arroz; picudo acuatico; picudo acua'tico del arroz; picudo acuático del arroz
  • French: charançon aquatique du riz

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Ruesselkaefer, Amerikanischer Reis-

EPPO code

  • LISSOR (Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page Many countries and economies where this insect occurs as a non native treat it as invasive, having a major impact on rice production fairly rapidly after introduction. Given the large expanses of some areas dedicated to rice production, the insect is pre-disposed to be invasive in characteristic.

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Coleoptera
  •                         Family: Curculionidae
  •                             Genus: Lissorhoptrus
  •                                 Species: Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page Lissorhoptrus belongs to the family Erirhinidae, subfamily Stenopelminae (Alonso-Zarazaga and Lyal, 1999), although some authors treat it as a member of the family Curculionidae, subfamily Erirhininae, tribe Stenopelmini.

There are 18 species in the genus Lissorhoptrus currently recognized as occurring throughout the Americas (O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; Wibmer and O'Brien, 1986). The species now known as Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus Kuschel 1951 was included by Say in 1831 as part of his wide concept of the new species Bagous simplex Say (Tucker, 1912). LeConte, in 1876, placed Bagous simplex in the genus Lissorhoptrus (Isely and Schwardt, 1934). It was referred to as Lissorhoptrus simplex (Say) from 1882 to the mid-1950s when Kuschel (1951) revised the genus Lissorhoptrus. Kuschel (1951) found that Lissorhoptrus simplex comprised two closely related species; he retained Lissorhoptrus simplex for one species and described the other, the common rice water weevil, as Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus. The two species are separated on the basis of hind tibiae characters of males and the form of the male genitalia.

Description

Top of page Eggs

White; cylindrical and elongate, 0.8 mm long by 0.2 mm wide, length three to five times greater than the width; oviposited in submerged leaf sheaths on the lower half of the rice plant.

Larvae

White, legless grubs; presence of paired curved dorsal tracheal hooks on the second through seventh abdominal segments, apical segment of the hook is sclerotized and used to pierce root tissue and sequester oxygen, basal segment of the hook is tubular and flexible and separated from the trachea by chitinized rings; four larval instars with head capsule widths varying in size from 0.16 mm to 4.5 mm; body lengths of 1.5 mm (first-instar larvae) to 8 mm (fourth-instar larvae). Larvae were described by Lee and Morimoto (1988).

Pupa

White; formed in an oval, water-tight mud cell attached to plant roots; resembles the adult in size and shape.

Adult

Kuschel (1951) gave a key to adults including L. oryzophilus and Morimoto (1984) gave detailed information on its identification.

Dark-brown to black with grey scales; small, oblong (2.8 mm long by 1.2-1.8 mm wide); in sexually dimorphic weevils, the female is more robust than the male and the first two ventral abdominal sternites are flat to convex at the midline of the female, whereas they are broadly concave in the male; females have a large darkened area on the elytra and a deep notch in the seventh tergal segment.

For more information, see Newell (1913), Webb (1914), Ingram (1927), Isely and Schwardt (1930), Everett and Newsom (1964), Grigarick and Beards (1965) and Cave and Smith (1983).

Distribution

Top of page L. oryzophilus is indigenous to North America and occurs in Canada, USA and Mexico (Kuschel, 1951). It was accidentally introduced into Japan on infested rice straw in 1976 (Tsuzuki and Isogawa, 1976; Hirao, 1978). The distribution range of this pest has expanded to mainland China (Nagata, 1990) and Korea Republic in 1988 (Hirao, 1988; Way, 1992) and Taiwan (Shih, 1991; Shih and Cheng, 1992) and Korea DPR in 1990 (Way, 1992).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

ChinaRestricted distributionIntroduced Invasive Nagata, 1990; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-AnhuiPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-FujianPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-GuangdongPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-GuangxiPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-HebeiPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-HunanPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-JiangsuPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-JilinPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-LiaoningPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-ShandongPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-ShanxiPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-ZhejiangPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
IndiaRestricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-AssamPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
JapanRestricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-HokkaidoPresentIntroduced Invasive Tsuzuki and Isogawa, 1976; Kisimoto, 1992; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-HonshuPresentIntroducedTsuzuki and Isogawa, 1976; Kisimoto, 1992; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-KyushuPresentIntroduced Invasive Tsuzuki and Isogawa, 1976; Kisimoto, 1992; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-Ryukyu ArchipelagoPresentIntroduced Invasive Tsuzuki & Isogawa, 1972; Kisimoto, 1992; CABI/EPPO, 2011
-ShikokuPresentIntroduced Invasive Tsuzuki and Isogawa, 1976; Kisimoto, 1992; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
Korea, DPRPresentWay, 1992; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
Korea, Republic ofRestricted distributionIntroduced1988Hirao, 1988; Korea NPQO, 1990; Way, 1992; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
TaiwanPresentIntroduced Invasive Shih, 1991; Shih and Cheng, 1992; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014

North America

CanadaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-AlbertaPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
MexicoPresentNativeKuschel, 1951; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
USAWidespreadCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-ArkansasPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-CaliforniaPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-ConnecticutPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-District of ColumbiaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-FloridaPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-IllinoisPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-IndianaPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-IowaPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-KansasPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-KentuckyPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-LouisianaPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-MarylandPresentO'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-MichiganPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-MinnesotaPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-MississippiPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-MissouriPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011
-MontanaPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-New HampshirePresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-New JerseyPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-New YorkPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-OhioPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-South CarolinaPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-TexasPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-VirginiaPresentKuschel, 1951; O'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-WashingtonPresentO'Brien and Wibmer, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2011

Central America and Caribbean

CubaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
Dominican RepublicPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014

South America

ColombiaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
SurinamePresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
VenezuelaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014

Europe

GreecePresentIntroduced2016Giantsis et al., 2017Central Macedonia
ItalyRestricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-Italy (mainland)Restricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2011

Risk of Introduction

Top of page Currently, there are no quarantine restrictions on shipments of rough rice and rice hay between rice production areas in South-East Asia or between states within the USA. Quarantine measures should be considered in Asia to restrict rice hay shipments from areas of high L. oryzophilus population density to prevent spread into non-infested areas. New South Wales in Australia does enforce quarantine regulations to exclude rice pests including L. oryzophilus. The People's Republic of China also has quarantine laws which may affect introduction of the weevil.

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page Primarily aquatic grasses and sedges (see lists below); larvae attack roots, whereas adults attack leaves.

Rice is the economically significant host plant in the USA, Japan, Korea DPR, Korea Republic, Taiwan and China. The host range of L. oryzophilus in Japan includes 76 monocot plants in 56 genera and seven families (Kisimoto, 1992) and in Korea Republic includes 29 plant species in three families (Shih and Cheng, 1992).

In addition to rice, which is its primary host, L. oryzophilus attacks the following wild, secondary hosts:

USA: Agrotis avenacea, Axonopus compressus, Cynodon dactylon, Cyperus flavicornis, Echinochloa crus-galli var. zelayensis, Echinochloa crus-galli, Eleocharis obtusa, Eleocharis palustris, Jussica suffruticosa, Panicum dichotomiflorum, Panicum hians, Paspalum larranagae, Paspalum plicatulum, Paspalum bascianum, Paspalum dissectum, Paspalum urvellei, Polypogon monspeliensis, Scirpus mucronatus and Setaria geniculata.

Japan: Eragrostis ferruginea, Imperata cylindrica, Leersia oryzoides, Miscanthus sinensis, Pennisetum japonicus, Phragmitis communis and Pleioblastus variegatus.

Taiwan: Alopecurus aequalis var. amurensis, Bambusa multiplex, Commelina communis, Cynodon dactylon, Cyperus cotundus, Cyperus difformis, Cyperus iria, Cyperus serotinus, Digitaria clumbens, Echinochloa crus-galli var. formosensis, Echinochloa crus-galli var. oryzicola, Eleusine indica, Eragrostis japonica, Imperata cylindrica, Kyllinga brevifolia, Leersia hexandra, Miscanthus floridulus, Miscanthus sinensis, Panicum repens, Paspalum distichum, Paspalum thunbergii, Poa annua, Rhynchelytrum repens and Setaria viridis. It also attacks sugarcane and maize.

For further information, see Webb (1914), Lange and Grigarick (1959), Smith (1983), Kisimoto (1992) and Shih and Cheng (1992).

Growth Stages

Top of page Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage

Symptoms

Top of page Adult

Adults rasp the leaf epidermis of rice leaves, leaving skeletonized, longitudinal, slit-like scars on the upper leaf surface.

Larva

Root pruning by larvae causes stunting and chlorosis of seedling plants and lodging, a delay in maturity and yield reduction in mature plants.

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Leaves / abnormal colours
Leaves / external feeding
Roots / external feeding
Roots / reduced root system

Biology and Ecology

Top of page L. oryzophilus has one complete generation per year and sometimes also a partial generation in Korea Republic and Korea DPR, Japan and USA (Arkansas, California, Texas). Two complete generations per year are found on rice in Okinawa, Taiwan, Louisiana (USA) and Zhejiang province (China). The development of two complete generations is thought to be caused by two rice crops per year (in Taiwan) or by staggered planting or ratooning rice (Louisiana, USA).

The rice water weevil overwinters as a true diapausing adult in bunch grass, leaf litter and moist soil (1 to 5 cm depth). In Japan, Korea Republic and Korea DPR, adults prefer overwintering sites near the bases of hills or mountains. Hibernating adults have indirect flight muscles that are reduced in size; the muscles regenerate prior to the spring immigration to flooded rice fields (March-June). Flight muscles also degenerate when oviposition begins. Adults are semi-aquatic and can be found on or beneath the soil surface. Perennial grasses and sedges that are common in or near rice fields serve as alternative host plants for adult weevils.

Both male and female adults of L. oryzophilus occur in the south-eastern states of the USA (Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas), but only parthenogenetic females occur in Japan, Korea Republic and Korea DPR, Taiwan and California (USA). Ovarian development of L. oryzophilus has been classified into six grades: 0 - no oocyte; I - pre-vitellogenic; II - gravid; III - ovipositing; IV - late ovipositing; V - post oviposition) (China). Females lay their eggs (2.3-3.7 eggs per female per day) in submerged leaf sheaths, with up to 106 (Japan) to 239 (USA) eggs laid per female. Eggs hatch in 6-10 days, depending on the temperature. Newly hatched larvae feed for a short period of time before crawling down the plant to the roots. Four larval instars are completed in 28-37 days. Mature fourth-instar larvae form a mud cocoon in a prepupal stage (1-2 days), with the cocoon attached to the root. Adults emerge in 5-7 days and either prepare to overwinter or, in areas where there are two generations per year, to re-infest rice. In double-cropping rice areas of China, adequate food supply impacted summer diapause of first generation adults rather than air and soil temperature or daylength. The density of L. oryzophilus in second crop rice is lower than first crop. L. oryzophilus populations are greater at higher altitudes than lower altitudes in Japan because movement to and from rice fields differed and thus, affected survivorship.

For further information, see Webb (1914), Isely and Schwardt (1934), Lange and Grigarick (1959), Newsom and Swanson (1962), Grigarick and Beards (1965), Gifford and Trahan (1966, 1967), Everett and Trahan (1967), Gifford (1969), Knabke (1973), Raksarart and Tugwell (1975), Nilakhe (1977), Hirao (1978), Muda et al. (1981), Haizlip and Tugwell (1983), Smith (1983), Morgan et al. (1984), Asayama and Nakagome (1992), Goh and Choi (1992), Kisimoto (1992), Lee and Uhm (1992), Shih and Cheng (1992), Way (1992), Kobayashi et al. (1997), Zhai et al. (1997) and Zhai et al. (1998).

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Beauveria bassiana Pathogen Adults
Hirsutella jonesii Pathogen
Hyla cinerea Predator Adults
Hyla squirella Predator Adults
Metarhizium anisopliae Pathogen Adults
Pantala flavescens Predator Larvae
Rana pipiens Predator Adults

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page L. oryzophilus has no known parasitoid natural enemies. A mermithid nematode has been found to cause mortality and reduction of egg production in adult females in Arkansas (USA), but its impact on suppressing rice water weevil populations is unknown. Predation on adult rice water weevils by Hyla cinerea, Hyla squirella and Rana pipiens has been observed, while larval rice water weevils have been preyed on by the immature libellulid dragonfly nymph Pantala flavescens in the USA. In Taiwan, the natural infection rate of the fungal pathogen Beauveria bassiana on overwintering adults has ranged from 14.8 to 32.7%.

For further information, see Puissegur (1976), Bunyarat et al. (1977), Smith (1983), Shih and Cheng (1992).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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L. oryzophilus is spread by parthenogenesis, flying, swimming and hitchhiking on human transportation (Chen et al., 2005).

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Animal/plant collections None
Animal/plant products None
Biodiversity (generally) None
Crop production Negative
Environment (generally) None
Fisheries / aquaculture None
Forestry production None
Human health None
Livestock production None
Native fauna None
Native flora None
Rare/protected species None
Tourism None
Trade/international relations Negative
Transport/travel None

Impact

Top of page L. oryzophilus causes serious losses to rice yields throughout its geographic range. In the USA, yield reductions on infested acreage range from 10% in Arkansas to 33% in California. L. oryzophilus has spread throughout the Japan archipelago since its introduction in 1976, with yield losses of 41 to 60%. From 1988 to 1992, it has occupied more than 50% of the total rice acreage in Korea Republic and has been predicted to spread throughout all of the rice-growing areas in Korea Republic. Similar projections are made for its spread into the rice production areas of Taiwan and Korea DPR, where the first infestations were observed in 1990.

For further information, see Way and Grigarick (1989), Asayama and Nakagome (1992), Kisimoto (1992), Lee and Uhm (1992), Shih and Cheng (1992) and Way (1992).

Detection and Inspection

Top of page During the seedling stage, inspect the leaf epidermis for the presence of skeletonized, longitudinal, slit-like scars.

Inspect the roots and look for larval pruning that becomes apparent 2 to 4 weeks after flooding or transplanting. Core samples (9.21 cm diameter, 7.6 cm depth), containing rice plants and soil, have been used to monitor larval and pupal populations. Each core sample is washed through a 40-mesh sieve and the sieve is agitated in a saturated salt water solution to separate larvae and pupae from soil residue and plant debris. In the USA, sampling is usually initiated 2 weeks after permanent flooding and continued at weekly intervals, until larval and pupal populations fall below the economic threshold (five immature larvae per core).

Rice hay should also be inspected for the presence of adult L. oryzophilus before transportation to uninfested areas to prevent spread to uninfested areas.

Prevention and Control

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IPM Programmes

There has been heavy reliance on insecticides in Asia and the USA to control L. oryzophilus below economic thresholds. This may destroy natural enemies and pose a threat to non-target organisms and the environment. Different control tactics need to be combined to suppress L. oryzophilus populations below a damaging threshold and to develop effective integrated pest management (IPM) programmes for this pest. Control tactics that have been evaluated include cultural manipulation using field drainage, biological control using entomophagous pathogens, host-plant resistance and chemical control.

Cultural Control

Early attempts to control L. oryzophilus in Asia and the USA involved the removal or drainage of rice fields to reduce larval populations. This strategy has been effective and controlled larval feeding damage under specific field conditions; however, it can be impractical because of loss of fertilizer, and is also ineffective when rice is reflooded too soon or if rain occurs during the time when fields are drained. Delaying the establishment of permanent flood (2 to 3 weeks later than normal) in the USA avoids problems associated with draining and reflooding. L. oryzophilus populations are reduced and delayed, and noxious weed management improved without herbicide inputs. Planting rice early (before mid-April) in Louisiana (USA) did not avoid the build-up of damaging L. oryzophilus larval populations, but early-planted rice was able to tolerate infestations without yield loss. Stout et al. (2000) provided evidence for the utility of early planting and delayed flooding for management of rice water weevil in Louisiana (USA). In Asia, there have been efforts to destroy sites where adults overwinter by removing the top layer of soil and associated vegetation near paddy fields. This control tactic is neither feasible nor effective.

Host-Plant Resistance

Research efforts in Taiwan and the USA have attempted to locate sources of resistance to L. oryzophilus in rice lines and cultivars, because all cultivars currently grown are susceptible to damage caused by larval feeding. In Taiwan, over 200 lines and cultivars have been screened for larval resistance, with 37 lines of Hshinchu 64 identified with high levels of resistance (absence of larvae and pupae). In the USA, more than 8000 USDA Rice World Collection lines have been screened for larval resistance. Six lines were identified with moderate resistance and five lines identified with low resistance. Recently, anther culture, tissue culture and breeding lines identified with resistance to larval L. oryzophilus were categorized for tolerance, antixenosis and antibiosis. The anther culture lines (95-2836 and 95-3527), Louisiana breeding lines (8720906 and 8721937), tissue culture lines (112 and 4754) and other breeding lines (AL6029, LA2218, TX22041, URN199 and URN200) were identified with moderate levels of tolerance to damage caused by larval feeding. These lines supported high larval populations, but yields did not decline or were higher when compared with paired treated controls. These lines also recovered from root-pruning damage caused by larval feeding. Additionally, two tissue culture lines (244 and 2232), three Louisiana breeding lines (8723417, 8723518 and 8825454) and two Texas breeding lines (TX12685 and TX13079) were identified with antixenosis.

Biological Control

Infection of overwintering L. oryzophilus adults (14.8-32.7% infection rate) by Beauveria bassiana has been observed in Taiwan. There has been interest in using the entomophagous fungi B. bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae as microbial control agents for L. oryzophilus in Japan. Although adults were highly infected with the fungi, the density of the first-generation larvae and pupae were not reduced because there were high populations and because infected adults oviposited before dying; L. oryzophilus populations were not reduced sufficiently using either fungus. Overwintering L oryzophilus populations in Taiwan are reduced using B. bassiana and M. anisopliae, but reduction differed based on density of adults and timing of fungal conidia application. The application of M. anisopliae at the pre-oviposition stage reduced the adult population of L. oryzophilus by 92.5% 13 days after spraying in China (Chen et al., 2000). Larval and adult populations in the coming generation were also decreased. A mermithid nematode has been associated with mortality and reduced fecundity in adult females in Arkansas (USA), but its efficacy for population control is not known.

Chemical Control

In the USA, there has been heavy reliance on insecticides as the major control method against L. oryzophilus. Numerous insecticide products have been screened since the 1960s, but most were phytotoxic to seedlings or interacted with herbicides causing seedling damage. In Asia, most research to control L. oryzophilus has emphasized chemical control as a major control tactic. For example, in 1992, Korea DPR used the synthetic pyrethroid etofenprox after transplanting as the only control tactic for the weevil. Japan has over 30 insecticides registered for control of L. oryzophilus, with carbosulfan, benfuracarb, cycloprothrin, etofenprox and cartap used in recent years. Cycloprothrin, fenthion and pyridaphenthion-fenobucarb are registered as foliar sprays; cycloprothrin and etofenprox-fenobucarb are registered as granular applications; and carbosulfan and ethofenprox-fenobucarb are registered as seedling box applications in Korea. In Taiwan and the USA, carbofuran granular applications are effective insecticides against L. oryzophilus, but in the USA registration for use of carbofuran to control larval populations ended in 1995. In a study of the effects of alternative insecticides, Lambda-cyhalothrin, diflubenzuron and fipronil were found to be more effective than carbofuran [a hazardous chemical that is not recommended] at preventing early larval infestation of rice roots, but less effective at preventing later infestation of roots (Stout et al., 2000). Yields from plots treated with the three insecticides were generally higher than those treated with carbofuran, probably because prevention of early injury to roots had a more beneficial impact than prevention of later injury. 

Field Monitoring/Economic Threshold Level/Action Threshold (Economic Injury Level)

Estimates of control thresholds for L. oryzophilus include: adult feeding scars on 70% of young leaves (Texas, USA); three to five larvae per core sample (9.21 cm diam.; Louisiana, USA); 0.25 adults per hill (Japan, Taiwan); and 30 larvae per m² (China). Estimates of action thresholds (economic injury levels) based on yield, L. oryzophilus densities, management costs and market values ranged from three to seven larvae per core sample (9.21 cm diam.; Louisiana). The abundance of early instar L. oryzophilus is underestimated by the soil core sampler-separation method, rather larval density and stage of crop should be used to establish the action thresold (economic injury level). Traps (pyramidal and teepee) and rice plant volatiles such as hexanal, are techniques used to develop a monitoring programme for L. oryzophilus in Arkansas. For further information, see Isely and Schwardt (1930, 1934), Bowling (1957, 1959, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1976), Rolston and Rouse (1960), Newsom and Swanson (1962), Hendrick and Everett (1963), Everett et al. (1964), Everett and Trahan (1965), Grigarick and Beards (1965), Rolston et al. (1965), Gifford and Trahan (1967, 1975 a, b), Graves et al. (1967), Gifford et al. (1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975 a, b), Grigarick et al. (1976), Puissegur (1976), Trahan et al. (1976), Bunyarat et al. (1977), Robinson et al. (1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982), Kiritani (1979), Smith et al. (1979), Rahim (1981), Smith and Robinson (1982), Way and Wallace (1986, 1988), Matsui (1987), Tseng et al. (1987), Kozima (1988), Hayashi (1989), Morgan et al. (1989), Smith (1989), Way and Grigarick (1989), Way (1990, 1992), Heier (1991), Hesler et al. (1992), Kanno (1992), Kobayashi (1992), Quisenberry et al. (1992), Shih and Cheng (1992), Yoo et al. (1992), Yoshizawa (1992), N'Guessan and Quisenberry (1994), N'Guessan et al. (1994a, b, c, d), Thompson et al. (1994a, b), Barbour and Muegge (1995a, b), Barbour and Ring (1995), Barbour et al. (1995a, b, c, d), Bernhardt (1996, 1997), Huang (1996), Kim et al. (1996), Nitta and Grey (1996), Saekil (1997), Urtz and Rice (1997), Wu and Wilson (1997), Hix et al. (1998), Lin and Zhao (1998), Cheng and Chiu (1999) and Rice et al. (1999).

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