The clover root-borer

Material Information

The clover root-borer
Webster, F. M ( Francis Marion ), 1849-1916
United States -- Bureau of Entomology
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C.
U.S. G.P.O.
Publication Date:

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is a work of the U.S. federal government and not subject to copyright pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §105.
Resource Identifier:
29649072 ( ALEPH )
84229082 ( OCLC )

Full Text

I. i, l M\arcl) 2"3 l9l>.


I I0. tOWARD. Intomologist and Chw(t > flurry u.

hi ( I /l / nII^ f Hit I,,,i Ii /i, t
Itf ( 'h+,trq!^ <"' l "< ffr .itfl + 'T<., ]f l" /+! n^< ,t I, +.t,;. js '/ .

2.-il1 'iir ll I 0

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B t'E I U
L. 0. HOWARD, f '* *..'....r f and I ff Burni.
('. L. MIARLA'I", A.SSifat Eli'toio ofli.'t aPd 1. A r -.. f in A bscc of ( I f.
R. S. ( 'I IIF' \, E Omn'iiire? AsitSil t.
{'HAS. J. GILLIS', Chicf CkrL.

F. fI. ('IIITTENIf\I)EX, in iarq! 4< f /tr t ,rI p (y 1 do>rcd proat it i i't itI't re .',l ,
A. 1). IPHoKINS, in ciharig 1/ irrmst idnc'd itnu'd t Nifgatioiis.
W. I). IIt'NTER, 'in. Qdia/Tc Q/o onUt/.ir i dil crop 5i.icdct in ',,lios..
I'. M1. N\ EBSTER, in 'charf/i' !fc rio'fl alud idorage, ct i' esfiijntdatKiToii.
A LI. QVAINTANCE, i(f cliharqv of J'nidJu fruit iv- i isrestigataoino.
'F. F PItui 's, it caiare (if bee culture.
I ). M RIinER., i c. ldi/rge if prrI'di ti r' .f>rrfd (dif hi ,d ii If 1 ork.
ROLLA P. ('CURRIE, in d .. ) >I'(iitloriad wdorl'.
MIABIM, CO')L(ORD, liblraria.


F. M. WEBSTER, ill ih,,Id9'.

)SHORN, a11]t'd. (idnd ('iprrti.i
[Cir. 1 1I ]

CIRCULAR No. 119. REVISION OF CIRCULAR No. 67.) 1-1-1h 2 ,
United States D)epartrnent of Agriculture,

L. 0. HOWARD, Entornologist and Chief f But eau.

THElt ('LOVEI f ,liN(-liO Kllt.
f1 / ,ll/mci 1 f f; M, ln !)., ; l' :h lli .
IkY F. M iis-ri-:i.
I el 'II O iiiT I I1t'l l 1,I1 ll''ll f II t' ll l ' Il /it l o /lh lt l l tS .
I NTIZ )I)O'( ( )N.

The clover rI,-t() ,t'1 er fi/lt-l1 ,iax i .' ,la', Mars.ail) lis not "t
native of Anltwicl, hiut ll s l beell ilt rodltced froml l KntRe a1d las
estabtilishel itself in thlt I l te fields (it', red clver ill ,to e ecti4, ns omi tilt(
master Ull t'tn itiledl "; tel s, is well ;it I lirI ll l l I he State f i r, o
antI W ashei, IonI, \\ li seriotes lit depredIltitoms I Y ti l)eii et-vin iII thle rotos, the-reby devstro -
i-' tliet plants. It as ln been kno\i n iS ir a ; h\cl e post,
E iello l'" -i\vill its d]ist l'Ii tliolln as( ei(i i.llat .\ s- 4l .
trill, Frallce. England, and (Ini ('lti l ary Islands.hinJii
Other |{i'Ilropeall clit ( mt )doi ists have allso writtenll
of its occITrrenice, alld, accorldiill to l) lic iht
infested hlIa t oIldhs of c )lo v e ar I OIe, Il". ( )d e I I cl,"
Gertminiiv, Iin ISO:, ill occurrenclce evidenitly coinI- ^*HSB1
cident withl its description by Mv all-sholl in ]IS'02. t..
While it diId Hot collnn to notice ill Amercicat; is t ^ ''liBt
ai pest, until about IS7S, when it was found ill
destrillctive a1bulldallce ill cetrtt ll New York, it s
probably o(cuIrred I in this countirv low, primo ,o ,to
thal date. D)r. A. I). blpkins, i whio is making a FKi. i r'Iw clo,,vr ,-
Sl c ial stiildv of this group of beetles, vi/, thelie +'rm iii/i +tni + < *\- l *Ad lt. in 'rtl X,lillnr il tsy
Sc(lvtidhe. has sllZ i\\ l 1 t lle w riter a s|pecililne f't In at iqi!t, t \utlc~t:, ihiis-
the collht'ilol of tIle late Do "tor Fit'li, witli a New ">+0 '
Y tork lalel iattachied to (lie pin. referrilnll to) I la n te wh-ichl liet las tbeen
tillable to flind. It 1all probability, how ever, Ihis specilllel anlltedlates
Ilhe discovery( ol' tIle insect by KileYih in lS7S. Besides, owiilnr t0o Ili
obws ure h ()it of thle pest, it is more, thlIn likely i( a t \\ ;ls iljiilri is
't chlver even prior to this dle Itlimtou, tmowever, ha\'vilng beell
detected 1 by v fi'riller"s. Evell 11t pIeseil/, both i ll (le MididIe WV st
anlid on l ie Pacific coast, where it is oI st Io estt ruct i\ e ii las-;
at attracted little a1vtte tiol (he eftl*(,,'s ; tof its ravna es bciIL_. (1,1u11+v
0 li'ii, riip"- | ('ir. ltt'.> ( I1)

attributed to adverse meteorological conditions. The pest seems
to have spread muchli more rapidly westward than southward, as it
proldably occurs in thle East nearly to thle Mississippi River; but it
has attracted no attention along the Atlantic coast south of Penn-
sylvania. In that State, however, t lie writer found it abundant around
(tlian, i-l., ,, but not disastrously so, in October, 1905. It has not
been reported at all from the vicinity of Washington, D1). ('. It is cer-
y* ~tainly not seriously injurious in the New Eng-
land States at the present time, the late Dr.
James Fletcher reported a similar state )of
affairs in Ontario. 'Canada, aind we do not
receive any reports o()f its occurrence ) between
(t~ ^ .:_ t lhe Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains.
ern Michigan it is becoming more and more
-" -- (destruct ive.
FIG. 2.-The clover root-Iorer:
Larva or gruh. Much en- I)ESCRIPTI(ON OF THE INSECT.
large. (Author's illustra-
tion.) The fully developed insect is a small, dark-
brown, hard-bodied beetle, shown enlarged in figure 1.
The larva, or grub, shown enlarged in figure 2, is about an eighth
of an inch long, dingy white, with honey-yellow head and brown jaws.
The pupa (fig. 3) is even smaller than the larva, also dingy white,
with two minute spinois projections on tihe top of the lead and two
somewhat larger ones at the anal extremity. The ._' are elliptical,
white, and minute, yet large enough to l)e seen with the unaided eye.


In thlie East there is certainly but one generation annually, though
this appears to be lo,,. drawn out, and scattering indi-
vidual hlarv e anid pupto may be fouind throughout every
month hof the year. The finding of ,.:,_'- as late as Sep-
tenmber IS lihas been reported from .ilii-,.n. As a rule,
however, the insects pass tlie winter in t lie ad ult sI ge t'1 A i r
(fig. 1) within the roots where they developed. Duiriing
L., y they alLiand(on tlie o(ld roots and seek iout fresh
plhints or fields in which to lay their e(,,s The "'
atre ij)iostly deposited b)etlween thle middle of May and
Jneie 20. Thlie feiiale goutges ouit a sliallow cavity,
". rI Fl' e 'lieclover
Ilore oflen in ll tie cro)wli (i the plnti, Soiiimetiimes Ait root Iorer:
lhe sidles of tlie root, even 2 or : inches behlvw tilie ipa. Muxclien-
1*r1 ir red. (Au-
(Ci')\\ i, 1and in this places, singly, buit lot far separated, (ih,'a iiusira-
alolit halfl a (dozen paile whitish, elliptical, very niiiiiute tioni)
e ggs. These liatchi ii about a week, and the larva' (fig. 2) for a time
1 1ir. 1 I 1

feed ini tli \Ixcaiv atin mah, iv the, mo itnhr, hit soon lurrw down-
wardl into (ihe root, ;>il b~el'o e (lie 1st of Atugust Illie mIjorlil\y of
them ha e tI ecomatI fullv I' n Ia Ias itoI t-lI ti III()l Il
(i. 3 B1 Octobet r IIaitI al l hvli e lec II I ll de elo e IeeIl e IIhI
hut (hey, tmakle m, atlempt to heave tlie plani t uinlil (lie l,,lhlvinL
sp~ring. Bali,,l s(;i(cs trla t l. u(lie d lts [Iy at
Mamx e i tn iin .lrel andilii Ai l, le etle-. lii- hkl-,, ^ '/ -.

n ii >' (te ta, t I c a I :t iiz t t el I e Id II .

oli .rIn ie, t lhi Ie-tse ol e re a io er e all maiia \\ f -
I di:fe I t Ia t I o it I I 1III I I

tii r\xl i ( (l IIe I a dlItsI A a bra In I 'w I I I

the s eies is ept ate-o tl ilover ,t(ed e alw y in 'Itt
(I : z Il ,l o r in of I I I 1,11 l 1 z II' llIt l_ as I been I'M M, V

I lIse I ,ix i I It a. w I far v i t : i i IIIawI I' z' I I

t t 1 1'( -t I I I ) Al, CV II I'i- ,I I if ; I I I I ItI ,/ It \\. I
ci)Ii Iat I I r a t ,it lia i0e o lie IIe in I I I I I
tII II >vi)t' I S W It1J a 11[ 1 c Itt v I tt Ii ,r v,

t hhie rbu, aor 0 :11,a1 e-, the I 1 1,e1 11 X ls i ,t tI I (..
IIl dest rurti e t hOd love l( .-ihU "

the species i s knn own t I attack innf I 'Scotch t roo l
Cyti(.SolS-i Spartilii /it} fScopiri. tlif, :n I IIII tnI( Ioot oI I ~ v ri t
-velIo I ,-llo\'eed Ie t ,l .rirr \N (7i ]oni im t fr ). 'x / ix)
InI A 1 e Iesi it lI t Is s o I' Ir Iee I s e ia l ,e Ii s9 If I II II
Stri Ig ajeIve to I led ttcl over 1 jIhlit prLite t(xl It-; -. liuxx

vet v It t t hI t rec ntl( itn i v Chsin int crest I i x t A
t lie ('1-4 )\\ I ll II1alIalfa ( Alt (' cnijo wl ifi'(/ n /\ ^f l

wt i Norti lern St t if es at I aytl) w expected lit If ,
tbeco ll oIIde ,t r iv l I lt til vcropl iI,,II+ a Bes Ies, I ( II
it Is k II io to tt ack mam mo I t htl ( I t clover (Tr- ,I |I ve ,
'!--1iUltnittu di ti t? i ti Im ;di e I7 Ii :I L, I k I T'b\11,6'du'm
Thle ]'act Owli t it also injures he l,;Irden pea yfi | {| t'J
e er will l~e ve r o tIv ci ~ t +'( o to row(]e rs ol'i l fo t i0* pea
u i l fIerie 1 aid Indiath es tlit, I I e I I I I d ; ir t ol *<,1:

T h h. ', .iti lt [ < l l n 'c i- 't il u rrkoi .) r 1.1:1 .'~l' > .It, lt
.S(w n Ij a \VIII II Irl v I I tIlie season1 I o I ifrol ni )I Iii I ~ ~ -.. \I I II wI TI!
t -at I as teceiill\ t ee i It tIIheII I.Ise tvers oI ilu I'r I i'
ever I o 114ub 1 11o11 tI I I st I I v t i I ,eI vIls :I t o I n ie w I Ii
linti I after tlhe I wetle 1( a ape1e Sin I vIIoII I I II I

MlETHO I O()I IF A TTA I hIN I ;I.EI) L .(\ I;
Il~ c I IIstet t's m tI o oI Iatta I Ik Is I I\ l Il s ra e Iv i ur Isi u
Iil_' l-,e o t spit Il 41t I tIII III \ tw o I II o I I r lIeI exc I aI IoI<. In rI es
of, e-xIre e I i lt iidiI Ie, hIowe II+v v c I. o'-t 1lie 1 -li 11re inai l looII t,
ex. cepIt tIle aIrk, is ekae., 1ile tstacnIet I 1eini dti.placdu11 1 1 tbv
It r +') +l 1!

excreta, and the dead top either becomes detached of itself or is
easily broken ofi if one attempts to pull up the plant. It will be
observed at once that until the roots have attained sufficient
(dimensions it will be impossible for thle insect to attack them. Over
lthe territory where red clover is grown in this country the seed
is sownii either during late winter or spring: and during thie first year
the roots of the plants have not vet attained sufficient size to
accommodate thlie insects ait the time thlie latter are, with the excep-
tion. perhaps, of a few belated individuals abroad and depositing
thlieir eg; and thus thlie plants are almost, if not, indeed, entirely,
exempt from attack tlie first year. lience it is not until thlie sum-
mer of tlie second year that the plants are destroyed. This has led
European entomologists to believe that, like many others of thlie Scoly-
tide, tlie insect does no)t attack tlie phant until the latter has become
weakened v age or is diseased. But in this country, at least, this
can not be true, for tlie reasons just given. It is not improbable,
however, that, as between two plants with roots of thlie requisite size,
an munhealthi y one would be preferred by thlie beetles rather than one
in a thoroughly vigorous condition. But as yet there have been
no observations ten(ling to verify this lihylpothesis. A diseased clover
root, or one that hlias begun to decline from effects of age, is first
affecte(l at thlie heart: and, as will be observed from figure 4, this is the
part first attacked by tlie root-borer.
While an infested clover plant sooner or later succumbs to an attack
by this insect, life may be lengthened or shortene(l by meteorological
conditions. This, if tlie spring or early summer is very d(Iry, the
plants begin to die in )patches late in June, as soon as the hay crop is
renioved; but if there is much rain (during this period, the weakened
plants mllay continue to live until winter, dying out before spring. In
either case tlie farmer is likely to be misled i and to attribute the loss
to thle weather. Tlue summer of 11905 was not a dry one. Copious
rains fell with suffilcient frequency to enable all )but tlie most seriously
affected planets to survive. A prominent seedsman of Indiana, who
was imuch among clover fields, ituis described the sit nation in O)tober:
In d(Iriving around (Ihis year and ('xamininTiI ('lover fields, w e ia i foundiI that several
ios which aplarently shIo l haIi xe piroiued anil iiimmense amouniiit of seed, o(,r at least,
say, 3or 4 ushels t(o lh acre, di(d not shake out aiiythini. We pulled up
so;([) plants and dis'covere(d 1lhat thl plant broke off at the crown: or if any of the root
did( conme with it, it wias small and decayed. (in close investi.,.alion we discovered a
litll h white wormn which se,)n d l> be in albuni(ance and working .ii.ii:-.I the roots.
We noticed lhis in a l nller of fields and have toen wondering what it was. We hliave
als(o ha( saamples of clover plants from oilither sections of Indiana showing these condi-
tioni, and alhnot, invariably the yield of such fields was less than a bushel per acre,
1and1 it imy instances huilling was abandone(l and the huller taken out of the field.
I Cir. 1 1 ]


W hile Dlo tor R ilex foun (l he larva f ( oiiw te if lie clInI i, o .i soIl( er
beev I probalIy )''i lTb phowitl h! /b,nthis Say, at I acking t lie laire iIf t lhe
borer, a id althouiIll it probabIly has (,tiler emtieisi,, Ibotli ;itni t
insects aitnd birds, tiese have si fi 1 )(' poven o t' little, (no ecooic iinlpor-

The miilv preventive tleasure \(',t tri d that a ;i\' 1 1 i n is(Ie of
SIIcCScss is "li1ni IilhowinL as so(,,n as |II( hav crTIT is rcino^1 ',d.
At li tli1- h1 t. 'ii ,_ Ir I i In l nii n1i1tuIr'e sttial and. iI dvp1rivedl
of food, nuist, peri-sh. Tle vcaln n )t iiii,(iIe t'r, F n1e,(O clove.r r,),,t to
allotlher, and, if the Iieadlot \ is- It()\\- ir)k ti up. lttr l \xienm l the 'ot(()I s
i)p to1 liev hot, still aild w I\ilds, li's'e witi her ainld (,rY, I liIs noI) loin er
supplying tithe Iec'essar\ lsste l e, at i- li- t e sI intl) ealtivc Ie to I li
life of the larva', andl they pewrish. Thus :n inasi on o) a i new field
from aI ni i onte ai v tbe tirevenltedl. Plut if tlIe fall(moini,. he dtel:ved,
('veil for a fexw weeks, tie larv a' rxw ill lli\ IaI e fir I (lie ti s p arl Ias'edl
into ltheu plpal stave lurin, xwhieh nti food is reuiiiredI, andI plowini g ean
have lit tIe or n() effect ulipon tlhit. Tis nie(asuIre(, lo(etlIwr \vii I lit e,
1)ra1 tiee of allo wini I o Ir er lIhlis to staIlII winltv tw()o veart,. w()IIdII son)(m
reduce I itc Ie p)est to subj'r_:itin in. any 11o111i i V v. No) t rot le from
its work seetins to ()iccur in pat iures. ()Once broll(ult uniider coitl rod,
it would s(eeil that a svst.x el of rotation that invx t lves mowing f()r
lhayv and se'ed thle lirst year, and tpas-t ,i,: aInd then )breaking u)p tihe
ground tlhet follow i (g year,:, if gevnrally followed in a (*tiniunitv,
wMIlld sulice' to keep tlie pest, iIl subjectioin. lxt(ernina lioii i-s n()t
S(g (*n' tdi'i! of" .{ft' ulfiid t't .
WA.sHI GTiNt 1). (', ,!tn u rIy 1.! 1I1.
[ Cirt. It l:I


3 1262 09216 5561

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