The sugarcane borer, Diatraea saccharalis (Fabricius) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), is a major agronomic pest in the southeastern USA. This study was conducted to investigate the performance of D. saccharalis on eight rice cultivars widely grown in Louisiana and to assess the relationship between oviposition preference and offspring performance. In a previous study, oviposition preference of sugarcane borers was found to vary on the same eight rice cultivars. In this study, variation in larval performance on the eight cultivars was observed. The overall performance of larvae in terms of relative growth rate and boring success of larvae was highest on Priscilla and Cocodrie. Larval performance was lower on the hybrid XL723, the Clearfield (herbicide-resistant) variety CL161, and the medium grain Bengal. Also, larvae took more time to enter into the stem of the hybrid XL723 compared with Cocodrie. Significant positive correlations were observed among relative growth rate and boring success and between larval performance and oviposition preference. Significant positive correlations among measures of larval performance and oviposition preference suggest the operation of a common resistance mechanism. Results in laboratory and greenhouse extended into the field, where Cocodrie and Cheniere were the most damaged cultivars, whereas CL161 and the medium grain Jupiter were least injured in terms of average number of stem borer entry/exit holes per plant. Results from this study could contribute to the use of resistant cultivars in an integrated management program for stem borers and the resistant cultivars identified in this study could be used as sources of resistance in breeding programs for resistance against stem borers.