Review of current knowledge on the population dynamics of Dermolepida albohirtum (Waterhouse) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)



The greyback canegrub, Dermolepida albohirtum, is a major sugarcane pest that occurs between Mossman to Sarina in Queensland, Australia. Over a period of more than 100 years, BSES Limited has conducted extensive field and laboratory studies on this pest species and information is available in several reports, articles and scientific papers. This document summarises much of the published work on D. albohirtum as well as anecdotal observations on its biology, ecology and management. D. albohirtum has an annual life cycle, and adult beetles usually lay eggs in cane crops around December–January, by which time the crop has become well advanced making pesticide application difficult. Hence, fields that require chemical treatment need to be carefully selected prior to beetle flights and egg laying. To assist in field selection, a prediction system is currently being developed to ensure that chemicals are strategically applied in areas likely to receive grub damage. Knowledge of the life cycle and population dynamics of this pest is essential in developing robust forecast systems. This document is designed to serve as a comprehensive reference for both researchers and cane growers seeking detailed information on the biology, ecology and management of this pest species.