Florida Entomologist (2019) 102, 403-407

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Michael Karounos, Ron Cherry, Dennis Odero, Hardev Sandhu and Julien Beuzelin (2019)
Host plant preference of Melanotus communis (Coleoptera: Elateridae) among weeds and sugar cane varieties found in Florida sugar cane fields
Florida Entomologist 102 (2), 403-407
Abstract: The corn wireworm, Melanotus communis (Gyllenhal) (Coleoptera: Elateridae), is an important soil insect pest of Florida sugar cane (Saccharum spp.; Poaceae). The objective of this study was to determine the host plant preference of M. communis adults and larvae to weeds and sugar cane varieties found in Florida sugar cane fields. Three sugar cane varieties, 3 grass weeds, and 3 broadleaf weeds were tested for their attraction to the insects in free choice tests. After a 24 h exposure to whole plant extracts (juices), most adults were found in sugar cane varieties, followed by grass weeds, then broadleaf weeds. After a 48 h exposure to chopped roots in muck soil, most larvae were found in sugar cane varieties, followed by grass weeds, then broadleaf weeds. After a 48 h exposure to chopped roots in sandy soil, most larvae were found in sugar cane varieties, followed by broadleaf weeds, then grass weeds. Our data show that in free choice tests, both M. communis adults and larvae prefer sugar cane over weeds present in Florida sugar cane fields.
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Full text of article
Database assignments for author(s): Dennis C. Odero, Hardev S. Sandhu

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
environment - cropping system/rotation
general biology - morphology - evolution


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Melanotus communis Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) U.S.A. (SE)