A greenhouse study was conducted to evaluate adult sugarcane root weevil (Diaprepes abbreviatus (L.)) residence (location), feeding damage, and oviposition choice on 4 sugarcane varieties and 5 weed species found in Florida sugarcane. Sugarcane varieties were CP 89 - 2143, CP 88 - 1762, CP 80 - 1743, and CP 78 - 1628. Weed species were common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album L.), spiny amaranth (Amaranthus spinosus L.), common purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.), sicklepod (Senna obtusifolia (L.) H.S. Irwin & Barneby), and coffee senna (Senna occidentalis (L.) Link). Adult residence was highest on coffee senna followed by spiny amaranth, sicklepod, and common purslane. Few adults were observed on sugarcane varieties and common lambsquarters. Adults caused feeding damage on all weed species. Coffee senna, spiny amaranth, and sicklepod had the highest feeding damage whereas common lambsquarters had the least damage. Little feeding damage was observed on sugarcane varieties. Oviposition of D. abbreviatus was observed on all sugarcane varieties and weed species with exception of common lambsquarters and sicklepod. Significantly more egg masses were found on sugarcane varieties compared with weed species. Weed surveys conducted in 3 locations in Florida sugarcane showed common lambsquarters, spiny amaranth, common purslane, and sicklepod as common broadleaf weeds in sugarcane fields. These results show that several weed species found in Florida sugarcane are suitable as food sources and oviposition sites for D. abbreviatus. However, sugarcane is generally more preferred for oviposition by D. abbreviatus. Preventing or removing weed hosts of D. abbreviatus from sugarcane fields will be an important defense against the weevil.
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Vol. 48 • No. 2