Field observations at three locations in the Texas High Plains were used to develop and validate a degree-day phenology model to predict the onset and proportional emergence of adult Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) adults. Climatic data from the Texas High Plains Potential Evapotranspiration network were used with records of cumulative proportional adult emergence to determine the functional lower developmental temperature, optimum starting date, and the sum of degree-days for phenological events from onset to 99% adult emergence. The model base temperature, 10°C (50°F), corresponds closely to known physiological lower limits for development. The model uses a modified Gompertz equation, y = 96.5 × exp(−(exp(6.0 − 0.00404 × (x − 4.0)))), where x is cumulative heat (degree-days), to predict y, cumulative proportional emergence expressed as a percentage. The model starts degree-day accumulation on the date of corn, Zea mays L., emergence, and predictions correspond closely to corn phenological stages from tasseling to black layer development. Validation shows the model predicts cumulative proportional adult emergence within a satisfactory interval of 4.5 d. The model is flexible enough to accommodate early planting, late emergence, and the effects of drought and heat stress. The model provides corn producers ample lead time to anticipate and implement adult control practices.
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Vol. 101 • No. 5