Eur. J. Entomol. 110 (1): 135-144, 2013 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2013.019

The effects of oviposition site on the development of the wood borer Coraebus florentinus (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)

Ana M. CÁRDENAS, Patricia GALLARDO
Department of Zoology, Campus Rabanales, E-14071 University of Córdoba, Spain; e-mails: ba1cataa@uco.es; b42gatop@uco.es

Coraebus florentinus (Herbst) is one of the most important wood borer pests of oaks in forest ecosystems in the Mediterranean Region. It is considered to be a heliophilous species as it prefers the sunniest parts of the canopy of isolated trees. The biological significance of this preference is still unknown. Recently, the effect of temperature on the preimaginal development of this insect was established: high temperatures increase its probability of survival and shorten its developmental time. Continuing this line of research, this study was designed to determine whether C. florentinus exhibits selective oviposition behaviour and how variation in temperature due to differences in the position of the branches in which the larvae develop could affect the subsequent development of this species. To determine whether this insect selects the branches in which to lay its eggs, location data (north, south, upper half and lower half of the tops of the trees) for 112 damaged branches were analysed. The results confirm that females of C. florentinus do not lay their eggs at random at the tops of trees but rather choose branches that are exposed to the sun. To determine the effects of larval rearing temperature on the later development stages, an experiment consisting of five treatments was performed. Four of these treatments, each containing 25 infested branches derived from different orientations and positions in a tree (upper half of tree and north facing, upper half and south facing, lower half and north facing and lower half and south facing) were kept in culture chambers maintained at optimal conditions for pupal development (28 ± 2°C and 60-65% relative humidity). The fifth treatment with 25 branches infested collected from the most sun-exposed locations were kept in outdoor conditions. The results indicate that variation in temperature during larval development due to differences in branch location does not significantly affect survival, duration of developmental of pupae, emergence success or sex ratio of the adults.

Keywords: Buprestidae, Coraebus florentinus, Jewel beetle, development, oviposition, Quercus, temperature

Received: May 18, 2012; Accepted: August 17, 2012; Published: January 2, 2013

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