Japanese beetles, Popillia japonica Newman (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), were evaluated for ovipositional preferences among four turfgrasses common in northwestern Arkansas. Choice assays revealed females preferred to oviposit in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) and zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.), and that they avoided oviposition in common bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon [L.] Pers.) and hybrid bermudagrass (C. dactylon x C. transvaalensis Pers.). Significantly fewer eggs were oviposited in hybrid bermudagrass in a no-choice assay, suggesting that chemical and/or physical plant characteristics deter oviposition in that grass. The percentage of turfgrass cores with evidence of female activity (presence of female or eggs, or signs of female digging) in choice assays revealed no differences among treatments, yet significantly fewer hybrid bermudagrass cores had eggs. These results suggest that many females did not initially reject hybrid bermudagrass based on aboveground plant characteristics, but rather they left without ovipositing. Therefore, resistance in hybrid bermudagrass is likely expressed below ground. Our results suggest that the use of hybrid bermudagrass as a means of cultural control in an integrated pest management program may discourage Japanese beetle oviposition and subsequent grub infestations in lawns, golf courses, or sports fields.
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Vol. 102 • No. 6