Document Type

Scientific Note


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.

Included in

Entomology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.