Species name

Diabrotica virgifera zeae Krysan & Smith 1980: 124


Common name

Mexican corn rootworm


Type locality

Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico


Type depository

MCZ, holotype, male, verified



Body length 4.8-5.4. Body width 2.2-2.4. Head basic coloration yellow, clypeus black or chestnut. Male antennae filiform, as long as body, bicolored, antennomere 1 uniformly yellow, antennomeres 2-11 uniformly olive ocher. Pronotum green or pale olivine, subquadrate, deeply bifoveate. Scutellum yellow or amber yellow. Elytra basic color green, maculate, with two fuzzy-edged sulphur yellow, round maculae on each elytron. Elytral epipleura completely green. Elytra surface with four distinct sinuate sulci, deepest behind the humeral callus and extending beyond the middle. Humeral plicae distinct, sutural angle of elytra rounded, elytral punctation scattered and fine. Tarsi yellow or yellow ocher. Tibia bicolored, yellow, outer edge with piceous or testaceous line, or almost entirely darkened. Femora bicolored, yellow or green, outer edge chestnut to piceous. Internal sac of aedeagus with four sclerites.


Known distribution

Central USA (OK, TX), Mexico (excluding northwest), Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua (Krysan et al., 1980; Krysan & Smith 1987a)


Host plants

Zea mays L., was observed associated with flowers of Solanum L., Cucurbitaceae, Asteraceae, Fabaceae, sorghum and others (Clark et al., 2004)


Potential problems with identification

Diabrotica virgifera zeae Krysan & Smith is distinguished from the nominate subspecies, D. v. virgifera, by the green avittate elytra. D. v. zeae has, at most, a thin, weak, short humeral vitta. From the similar D. longicornis (Say) and D. barberi Smith & Lawrence it can be separated by the same features as the nominate subspecies: femora of D. v. zeae are as a rule bicolored with dark, chestnut or piceous, outer edge, while in D. longicornis and D. barberi femora unicolorous green or flavous. The shape of aedeagus and the internal sac sclerites differentiates all three species as well as other species similarly colored well.