Phil Busey Agronomy
Consulting Inc.


Publications list

Reinert, J. A., and P. Busey, P.  2005. Response of bahiagrass, Paspalum notatum, genotypes to feeding damage by tawny mole cricket, Scapteriscus vicinus. Internat. Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 10:767-771.


The tawny mole cricket, Scapteriscus vicinus Scudder (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae), is the most important turfgrass insect pest in the southeastern United States. It causes extensive damage to landscapes, parks, golf courses, sports fields, highway rights-of-way and forage grasses from Florida to North Carolina and westward to Texas. Since bahiagrass, Paspalum notatum Fl�gge, is one of the most preferred hosts, an experiment was conducted to evaluate 11 diploid Pensacola-type bahiagrass genotypes for resistance or tolerance to S. vicinus. A split-plot experiment with four cage pairs, each consisting of a mole-cricket-infested cage and a non-infested cage, was established under field conditions at Fort Lauderdale, FL USA. Scapteriscus vicinus was introduced into the infested-cages at a rate of 6 females per bahiagrass plant. Visual estimate of damage (difference between non-infested and mole cricket-infested plants) among the 11 bahiagrass genotypes were significantly different (P<0.05) for each of the three visual rating dates, however, the percent reduction in clipping dry weight after 38 days of cricket feeding and tunneling damage was not significant. The highest visual rating injury was sustained by FL-1979 (90%), PI-404637 (79%), FLX-293-6 (78%) and FLX-491.3 (76%) while FLX-48-4 (38%) was least damaged after 38 days of mole cricket damage. Additionally, all cultivars sustained >59% growth reduction when clipping dry weights of mole cricket-infested plants were compared with non-infested paired plants. The field cages, as constructed, provided an excellent environment to evaluate bahiagrass genotypes for their response to this highly mobile soil insect.