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Eur. J. Entomol. 2012, 109(2): 289292
Reproductive biology of the palm borer, Paysandisia archon (Lepidoptera: Castniidae)
DELLE-VEDOVE R.*, BEAUDOIN-OLLIVIER L., HOSSAERT-MCKEY M. & FREROT B.
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 (ą 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.
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KeywordsLepidoptera, Castniidae, Paysandisia archon, diel periodicity, pheromone production, polyandry, sexual maturity