Legs - Strong rear and fore legs modified for burrowing. Fore legs are flat for digging. End section of leg (Tarsi) has 3 segments.
Thorax - Front segment has a strong shield (pronotum).
Abdomen - Soft. Has 11 segments. Spiracles on segments 1 to 8.
Habits - Lives totally underground. Makes horizontal tunnels up to 15cm deep.
Eggs laid in autumn and winter. Young hatches and may be seen in winter. They are smaller and paler than the adults. Adults over summer at depth in the soil.
Origin and History:
Sandgropers shred the below ground portion of the stems of cereals and lupins causing the plant to yellow, wilt and die. Roots are occasionally attacked. Infestations are usually patchy and occur on sandy soils.
Management and Control:
Oats are less affected than other cereals.
Several weeks of autumn fallow reduces the numbers but some damage may still occur. In most years control is not economical as they are difficult to control with insecticides.
Sandgropers, grass hoppers, locusts.
CSIRO. The Insects of Australia. Melbourne University Press. (1991) p374, 393.
WADA. Insects and Allied Pests of Extensive Farming. Department of Agriculture - Western Australia Bulletin No. 4185. p75.
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