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Department of Entomology

Department of Entomology
123 W. Waters Hall
1603 Old Claflin Place
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506-4004

785-532-6232 fax

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Wheat Insects

Wheat stem sawfly, Cephus cinctus.


Adult female wheat stem sawfly ovipositing in wheat stem (photo credit: Pat Beauzay, NDSU)


WSS larva revealed in split stem.

The wheat stem sawfly is not a fly, but rather a herbivorous wasp.  Infested plants will have reduced yield and test weight and produce shriveled grains; mature larvae may or may not girdle plants at their base, inducing lodging. A pest native to the High Plains, the wheat stem sawfly began attacking winter wheat only recently and has been expanding its range southward.  It is currently present in southwestern Nebraska, northeastern Colorado, and is probably present in northwest Kansas, although this has not yet been confirmed.  There is no chemical control of this pest - management hinges on a combination of resistant varieties, cultural controls, and biological control. Please refer to the recent KSRE publication MF3089: Wheat Stem Sawfly for detailed information on its life history, biology and management.

Page created 11/01/2013 by J.P. Michaud.