Sugarcane Beetle

John K. Saichuk, Meszaros, Anna

Sugarcane beetle chewing on the crown of the rice plant.

Sugarcane beetle - Euetheola rugiceps

The beetle has been reported from all southern states. It is primarily a pest of corn, but damage reports also include sugarcane, sweet potatoes and rice. The sugarcane beetles (adults) are injuring the rice by chewing at the soil line in the crown of the plant.

Seedlings suffer the most damage and are often killed when the beetles destroy the growing point. The symptoms in rice are very similar to what can be found in field corn.

Sugarcane beetles overwinter as adults, and then move into field crops and attack plants at the soil line. This beetle is related to the June bugs or May beetles.

The beetle has strong forelegs with coarse spines adapted for digging and is about a half inch long. The eggs are oblong, white and smooth. Females deposit clusters of eggs in earthen cells in sod. Eggs hatch in about 9 days.

The larva of the sugarcane beetle is a white grub, closely resembling other white grubs. The grub has yellowish legs, and the head shield is red. It ranges in size from 0.2 to about 1.2inch long.

The pupa is pale buff, and it is about 15-19 mm long (Ref: LSU AgCenter Pub 2892).

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10/13/2011 9:57:05 PM
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