Eur. J. Entomol. 107 (4): 481-485, 2010 | 10.14411/eje.2010.056

(Ovo-)viviparity in the darkling beetle, Alegoria castelnaui (Tenebrioninae: Ulomini), from Guadeloupe

Anne Marie DUTRILLAUX, Dominique PLUOT-SIGWALT, Bernard DUTRILLAUX
UMR 7205 CNRS/MNHN, OSEB, Département Systématique et Evolution, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, CP32, 16, rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France; e-mail: bdutrill@mnhn.fr

In the course of cytogenetic studies on Alegoria castelnaui Fleutiaux & Sallé 1889 (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae: Tenebrioninae: Ulomini) from Guadeloupe, a number of adult specimens were dissected. A larva was found in the abdomens of almost all of the females. The karyotype, 20,XX / 20,Xyp, and the presence of heterochromatin at multiple chromosomal locations, of the larvae and adults were similar, which excludes parasitism and indicates viviparous reproduction. The adverse habitat of the adults, i.e., putrid and fermenting pseudo-stems of banana trees rather than geo-climatic conditions, may explain the occurrence of viviparity in this species. This is the first example of (ovo-)viviparity in the Ulomini tribe and among New World Tenebrionidae. A. castelnaui is regularly collected on banana trees infested with the weevil Cosmopolites sordidus Germar, 1824, a major pest of banana trees around the word. The coexistence of these two species on banana trees may be coincidental but another Ulomini species, Eutochia pulla Erichson 1843, is described as an egg predator of C. sordidus in Africa and therefore, A. castelnaui could also be a predator of this pest.

Keywords: Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae, Ulomini, Alegoria castelnaui, Guadeloupe, chromosomes, (ovo-)viviparity

Received: January 12, 2010; Accepted: May 10, 2010; Published: October 20, 2010

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