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Citrus root damage and the spatial distribution of eggs of diaprepes abbreviatus

Citrus root damage and the spatial distribution of eggs of diaprepes abbreviatus

Florida Entomologist 60(2): 114

The sugarcane rootstalk borer weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus (L.), is an introduced insect destructive to Florida [USA] citrus. Insecticides incorporated into the soil surface could be used to prevent larvae from entering the root area, and the toxicant should be placed where it is most effective in preventing major root damage to minimize the amount of insecticide required. The trees used in the study were 6-yr-old grapefruit, Citrus paradisi Macf., grafted on rootstock of sour orange, C. aurantium (L.). When larvae were placed at the base of the tree, the greatest feeding occurred on the taproot and the origin of major lateral roots. When larvae were placed 20 cm from the trunk, lateral root and taproot feeding decreased appreciably. When larvae were placed at the tree drip line, the most distal area for oviposition, larval feeding was limited to lateral roots and there was little feeding on the taproot. Damage was clearly related to the spatial distribution of eggs in the canopy. Horizontal migration of larvae on lateral roots seemed to be limited, and root feeding usually occurred directly below the area of larval placement. Because larvae from a single female can cause sufficient root feeding to debilitate a young tree, any soil insectides used to protect young trees should be applied to the area adjacent to the trunk. This would provide protection for the taproot and origin of major lateral roots, and the amount of insecticide required would be minimized.

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Accession: 004961703

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DOI: 10.2307/3494388

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