Eur. J. Entomol. 109 (2): 289-292, 2012 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2012.037

Reproductive biology of the palm borer, Paysandisia archon (Lepidoptera: Castniidae)

Roxane DELLE-VEDOVE1,2, Laurence BEAUDOIN-OLLIVIER1, Martine HOSSAERT-MCKEY2, Brigitte FRÉROT3
1 CIRAD, UPR Bioagresseurs, Avenue Agropolis F-34398 Montpellier, France; e-mail: roxanedv@hotmail.fr
2 Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE), UMR CNRS 5175, 1919 route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier cedex 5, France
3 INRA Versailles, UMR PISC 1272, Route de St Cyr 78026 Versailles Cedex, France

Paysandisia archon (Burmeister, 1980) (Lepidoptera: Castniidae) is an accidentally introduced pest that damages palm trees in the northern Mediterranean area. To our knowledge, there are no experimental studies on its mating behaviour, and little is known about its biology and ecology. In the present study, we used outdoor experiments to investigate several characteristics of the reproductive behaviour of P. archon: sexual maturity, diel periodicity of mating, occurrence of polyandry and delay between mating and laying eggs. The results indicate that 73% of the individuals studied were sexually mature three hours after adult emergence. Mating peaked between 14:00 h and 15:00 h and 87% of the females were fertilized and started laying eggs 1.25 (± 1.14) days after mating. Females were generally monandrous, but nevertheless remained attractive after mating. The results of this study provide the necessary background knowledge for studying several aspects of P. archon reproductive biology, in particular oviposition, sex pheromones and their role in mediating mating behaviour in this pest. These results are the first step in developing tools for monitoring populations of this pest.

Keywords: Lepidoptera, Castniidae, Paysandisia archon, diel periodicity, pheromone production, polyandry, sexual maturity

Received: August 26, 2011; Accepted: January 25, 2012; Published: April 5, 2012

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