leopard beetle or Zabrus tenebrioides It is a species of black ground beetle in the family Pterostichinae that can be found throughout Europe and the Near East. Among the main pests of winter cereals, caterpillars are the greatest danger and cause the greatest damage to the woolly cereal crop.
As a result of this dry year, in some areas of the country, there is a large presence of adults of the gypsum beetle in wheat crops. The harm from adults is minimal, compared to that produced by larvae, which can reduce production by an average of 1000-2000 kg/ha (source, INCDA Fundulea). In milder winters with lower rainfall and drier soil, the larvae delay their activity until the soil moisture increases. The monoculture of wheat favors the presence of the pest and therefore the damage to the products. If the caterpillars attacked earlier, the damage done is also greater. According to data published by the INCDA Fundulea, the ghabus beetle is present throughout the country, with frequency and attack prevalent in the south, southeast and east of the country. The presence of a large number of adults in the herbaceous grain crop, during this period, is an indication of a possible stress of infection in the fall, if the level of rainfall is normal, specific to the period .
According to the results of the research conducted in ICCPT Fundulea (current INCDA Fundulea), the largest attack of gypsy beetle larvae (Zabrus tenebrioides) occurs in the case of wheat monoculture (the third year), followed by the monoculture of wheat (the second year). A very low attack is recorded in the case of wheat planted after corn, while in the case of wheat planted after sunflower, soybean or pea, the attack does not occur. .
What do Syngenta specialists recommend for weevil control?
Chemical control using approved plant protection products for seed treatment.
Specialists at Syngenta recommend the use of Austral Plus in seed treatment to protect seeds and plants in the first stage of vegetation from the attack of ground beetle larvae, the larvae of which cause the most damage. Austral Plus is a fungicide that is used at a dose of 5 liters per ton of seeds, together with 1.25 liters of the adjuvant AG 40R, which provides effective protection against seed larvae. Zabrus tenebrioides and wireworms.
The insecticidal component of the product – tefluthrin, creates a vapor effect, which is tens of thousands of times more pronounced than any other pyrethroid, so that the aura produced upon contact with soil moisture is greater and protects the seeds well from a distance. The vapor of tefluthrin penetrates the soil cracks and tunnels dug by the larvae of the beetle larvae, providing increased protection for crops. Austral Plus is recommended to be used every year to reduce the buildup and reserve of pests – wireworms and to effectively control insect larvae. Zabrus tenebrioidesWith the aim of interrupting the biological cycle of these pests.
Also, Austral Plus fights a very wide range of diseases and gives a plant strengthening effect: increased strength, rapid and uniform emergence, a more developed root system.
Apply rotation of grass-grass crops and avoid monoculture.
Avoid monoculture of wheat or barley in areas and soils where too many adults have been reported in summer. The next crop should be placed at a greater distance from the area where a large number of adults have been reported in summer.
More information about pest behavior
Zabrus tenebrioides It presents only one generation per year, with it wintering in the larval stage. The larvae enter hibernation at different stages and resume their activity immediately after the snow melts, when the weather warms up, which can sometimes happen in the second half of February or the beginning of March, when they are able to withstand temperatures of 2-3 ° C. c. After emergence, the larvae burrow into the roots of newly emerging cereals in the fall or near plants, feeding on their leaves, an activity that continues until the ground is covered with snow or the temperature drops below 2-3 ° C. Attack early, as soon as the crop appears, feeding is carried out on unrelated plants, the young leaves of wheat plants, which they drag into the porches dug next to them. Thus, the resulting damage is very high. Characteristic pits appear where plants are completely destroyed, which are pits that increase in the surface as the larvae develop. In the case of strong attacks, these pits can sometimes account for more than half of the soil surface, settling the culture .
Article made by Syngenta
For more information on this topic https://www.syngenta.ro/austral-plus
 Diseases and pests of field crops – Al. Barbulescu, C. Popov, M. C. Mateias, 2002, Ceres Publishing House.
 Plant Protection – Fl. Paulian, State Publishing House of Agro-forests, 1959.