Asiatic Garden Beetle Feeding Preference Article Published

June 23, 2023

An article titled "Preliminary Feeding Assessments for Asiatic Garden Beetle, Maladera formosae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), Grubs and Adults" was recently published in The Great Lakes Entomologist Journal and authored by Adrian Pekarcik, Matthew Lorentz, C. Scott Clem, Amy Raudenbush, David Held, Kelley Tilmon.

This project, led by former Tilmon Lab Ph.D. student, Adrian Pekarcik, and undergraduate student assistant, Matthew Lorentz, was designed to determine the feeding preference of the Asiatic garden beetle grub uses as food sources in agricultural fields. The objectives of the experiments discussed in the paper were to a) understand if grubs have a feeding preference to potential diet choices present in a typical Ohio corn-soybean rotation, and to look at gained mass when provided a single diet. The diets that AGB grubs were exposed to were corn, soybean, debris, marestail and soil. A second objective was developed to look at a preliminary assessment on the development, survival, and fecundity of field-collected beetles on different diets present in suburban Alabama.

Overall, results from the first objective showed that AGB grubs were more likely to be found at corn and marestail and they significantly increased in body mass when subjected to those diets. However, they were also able to survive and gain mass when provided soybean, crop residues or bare soil. Results from the second objective determined that adults consumed more rose flower petals than floral tissue of white clover and Queen Anne’s lace. In no-choice trials, only females that were fed a diet of rose petals laid eggs, and diet consumption rates were similar among males and females. These findings provide insight into the feeding behaviors of Asiatic garden beetle grubs and adults collected from novel environments.

To read the full article, click here!