Source: South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University scientists have "re-discovered" an insect that was first described by a scientist in the year 1910, but hasn't been studied since. And what they are learning about its diet and life cycle suggests it could be one of the first major pests of a new biobased economy that grows native grasses for energy.

SDSU professor Paul Johnson, a research entomologist, said SDSU scientists found larvae of an unidentified insect that were responsible for losses on a private farm specializing in seed production of native grasses in 2006. At an SDSU research farm in 2007, professor Arvid Boe, a forage breeder, calculated that 40 percent or more of new tiller growth was lost to the caterpillar.

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