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Generate Knowledge and Control Strategies for the Pollen Beetle Brassicogethes viridescens (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), a New Invasive Pest of Canola

Research Area(s)
Agronomy Research  Insects 
Start Date
End Date
Principal Investigator
Christine Noronha - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Charlottetown)
Hector Carcamo - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Lethbridge), Tyler Wist - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Saskatoon), John Gavloski - Manitoba Agriculture
MCGA Funding
Total Project Funding
External Funding Partners
Alberta Canola, SaskCanola
Project Ongoing...

Research Objective

  • Develop a laboratory rearing method for pollen beetle
  • Test different insecticides for their efficiency against pollen beetles
  • Develop economic threshold for pollen beetles in canola
  • Survey fields in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba for the presence/absence of pollen beetles. Survey for naturally occurring parasitoids of pollen beetles in Atlantic Canada

Project Description

The pollen beetle Brassicogethes viridescens (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) is native to Europe and is an established pest of canola fields in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. It reduces canola yield when its larvae feed on the canola pollen, causing their seeds to abort and not be produced. Climate models predict that this pest will move into western Canada and this study proposes to test insecticides that will help control this pest while maintaining the safety of important pollinators.The study will sweep net samples from western Canada to monitor the movement of this pest, and in Atlantic Canada (where it is already established), one component will be to see if there are naturally occurring bioagents. In addition, procedures to establish a colony in the laboratory for future research will also be created. This research is important in staying proactive and having a strategy in place if the pollen beetle comes to western Canada, and will help develop an economic threshold to help farmers make better decisions on when to apply the most effective insecticide to their crop. The findings will be presented to canola producers and growers when the project has been completed.