Broad insect pest resources including Apps are outlined in the Agronomists Toolkit. Select below for pest-specific information.


False wireworms

Constraint – False wireworms

There are 4 groups (genera) of false wireworms:

  • Eastern false wireworm (Pterohelaeus spp.)

  • Southern false wireworm (Gonocephalum spp.)

  • Grey false wireworm (Isopteron punctatissimus)

  • Bronzed field beetle (Adelium brevicorne) 


  • Larvae are all worm like in appearance, ranging in size from 10-50 mm

  • The adult form is that of a beetle, ranging in size from 8-12mm in length


  • Wireworm larvae commonly 'ring-bark' young seedlings at the soil surface, finally chewing them off or leaving them severely weakened

  • Adult beetles may also chew off seedlings of spring-sown summer crops at ground level


  • Canola is particularly susceptible to seedling loss caused by false wireworms

  • Yield penalty can be severe if populations are large


Wireworms can only be controlled if they are detected before sowing, as there are no effectide post-sowing treatments. Insecticide can be applied to the soil with fertiliser, or as a seed dressing at sowing. Weed-free paddocks and cultivation over summer may reduce adult numbers by exposing them to hot dry conditions, thus preventing population build-ups. 


Links and Resources

AOF - Insect pests of canola. False wireworms

Page 3 of 6. Introduction, lifecycle, time of predation, damage, and management.

CESAR - Pestfacts. False wireworms

Information on sightings, and descriptions of true and false wireworms. Published 2012.

DAFWA - Identification of pests of Canola. False wireworms

Page 6. Description, lifecycle, damage, and control. Published 2005.

DEPI VIC - Wireworms and false wireworms

Importance/introduction, description, biology, damage, sampling and detection, and control. Published 1995, updated 2011.

GRDC - Best Practice Management Guide. False wireworms

Pages 49 and 50 of 92. Introduction, damage to canola, control methods, monitoring, appearance, and lifecycle. Published 2009.

NIPI - False wireworms in canola

Information on finding, monitoring, natural enemies, cultural control, thresholds, chemical control, multi pest considerations, and discussion. Published 2014.

PIRSA DAFWA & CESAR - I Spy Manual. False wireworms

Section 4, pages 24-25. Description/distinguishing characteristics, confused with/similar to, distribution, pest status and risk period, host range, damage, monitoring and sampling, and management. Published 2012.