The hunting billbug Sphenophorus venatus Say (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Dryophothorinae) is a generalist stem-boring pest on warm- and cool-season grasses. The objectives of this work were to (1) investigate adult feeding preference for four common turfgrass host species and (2) explore whether adults are attracted to the volatile odors emitted by these grasses. In laboratory feeding assays, S. venatus adults preferred zoysiagrass Zoysia japonica Steud ‘Meyer’ over all other species tested: Bermudagrass Cynodon dactylon ‘Patriot’, Kentucky bluegrass Poa pratensis ‘Barron’, and creeping bentgrass Agrostis stolonifera ‘Penncross’. In y-tube olfactometry assays, only males were attracted to bermudagrass. Our findings suggest that although S. venatus odor recognition potentially influence dispersal and host-seeking behavior, it may not ultimately determine feeding preference, where more close-range cues may be important. Further investigations on the mechanisms that cause variation in these behaviors could aid in the pursuit of more sustainable management techniques, such as strategic plant species selection and development of synthetic semiochemical lures for monitoring and trapping.
Duffy, Alexandra Grace and Richmond, Douglas S.
"Hunting Billbug Sphenophorus venatus (Coleoptera: Dryophthoridae) adult feeding and attraction to warm- and cool-season turfgrasses,"
The Great Lakes Entomologist, vol 53
Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/tgle/vol53/iss1/8