Orientation of sugarcane rootstalk borer weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus, to weevil, frass, and food odors

Ali R. Harari, Peter J. Landolt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adults of the sugarcane rootstalk borer weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus, form aggregations on citrus trees, where they feed on new foliage. The relative roles of male and female weevils, frass, food, and combinations of these odor sources in aggregation formation were studied using a y-tube olfactometer. Female and male D. abbreviatus were attracted by food, males, females, and female or male frass. Females were most often attracted by damaged food (broken green beans), whereas males were similarly attracted to damaged food and either female frass, male frass, or heterosexual pairs. No enhancement of attraction by either sex was found when males and male frass were combined with damaged food.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-868
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments—We thank W. J. Schroeder and H. Smith, Horticultural Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Orlando, Florida, for supplying laboratory-reared weevils. We also thank the former for his sharing of valuable knowledge concerning D. abbreviatus, and the latter for help in the collection of the weevils in the field. We are grateful to R. M. Giblin-Davis, Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Florida, W. J. Schroeder, USDA-ARS, Orlando, Florida, N. Epsky, USDA-ARS, Gainesville, Florida, and K. F. Raffa, Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin, for helpful comments on an early draft of this manuscript. This research was supported by Postdoctoral Fellowship Award No. IF-0183-94 from BARD, The United States-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund.


  • Olfactometer
  • aggregation
  • attractant
  • behavior
  • pheromone
  • volatiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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