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Dorsal habitus

Lateral habitus

Introduction

The ciitrus root weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus (Linnaeus) is native to Caribbean and was first reported in near Apopka, Florida on 25 September 1964 from Puerto Rico with ornamental plants import (Woodruff, 1964). In Caribbean 19 additional species in this genus are known. The species is considered one of the most serious pest in the Caribbean and Florida (Weissling et al., 2007). It is well established and widely distributed in Florida especially in central and southern Florida where it is considered a serious pest of citrus and also feeds on hundreds of different cultivated and non-cultivated plants.The feeding activity of the larvae may also make the plant more susceptible to root-rot pathogens such as phytophthora species (Graham et al., 2002). The pest also reached to Texas and California in recent years where it is causing serious threats to citrus and other crops.

Distribution

Widespread – Greater and Lesser Antilles, Florida, Texas and recently reached California.

Hosts

The species has a wide range of host plants and it attacks more than 270 different host plants including citrus, sugarcane, potatoes, sweet potatoes, woody field-grown ornamentals, papaya, guava, mahogany, etc.

Damage

Larvae feed on fibrous and structural roots of citrus, predisposing the injured root system to infection and girdling by Phytophthora spp., while adult feeds on the leaves by notching along the margins of young leaves.

 

Biological and Ecological Notes

A female of D. abbreviatus can lay up to 5,000 eggs in her life span of 3-4 months. Eggs are laid in clusters each ranging 30-265 eggs. Eggs hatch in about a week and young larvae fall off the leaves and enters the soil in search of roots where feeding occurs. After feeding several months, the larvae pupate in the soil and adults come out of soil and seek a host and mate (Weissling et al., 2007). Depending on the temperature, adults can emerge year round, however, primary emergence of adults can be seen from May-November in central Florida . The length of complete life cycle varies and depends on nutritional and environmental factors. Long term dispersal may not occur because adults are not very strong fliers.

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Bibliography

Graham, J.H., D.B. Bright and C.W. McCoy. 2002. Phytophthora-Diaprepes weevil complex: Phytophthora spp. relationship with citrus rootstocks. Plant-Disease, 87: 85-90.

 

Weissling, T.J., J.E. Pena, R.M. Giblin-Davis and J.L. Knapp, Jr. 2007. Diaprepes root weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus (Linnaeus) (Insecta: Coleoptera: Curculionidae). University of Florida , IFAS Extension document No. EENY-024 (IN151). 5pp.

 

Woodruff, R.E. 1964. A Puerto Rican weevil new to the United States (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Fla. Dept. of Agr. Div. of Plant Industry. Entomology Circular No. 30. 2pp.