The species complex formed by Diabrotica barberi and D. virgifera are commonly known as corn rootworms. These insects can cause significant root damage that typically leads to the pruning of the root system, which further leads to lodging or goose necking. Severity of lodging is enhanced with high winds and drought. The feeding of the rootworm on the pollen and silks leads to a serious interference with pollination, and therefore, affects yield.
The western corn rootworm (WCR) is yellowish-green in colour with three waxy black stripes on the wings. The northern corn rootworm (NCR) is a solid greenish yellow. The larvae of both species is approximately 1 cm long, white with a brown head, and a distinct dark tail plate.