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The seasonal biology of Sitona discoideus Gyllenhal (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), and introduced pest of New Zealand lucerne

, : The seasonal biology of Sitona discoideus Gyllenhal (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), and introduced pest of New Zealand lucerne. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 742: 249-259

S. discoideus Gylh. an introduced pest of lucerne in New Zealand, exhibits univoltine, aestivatory seasonality in Canterbury and Otago, with each generation appearing in late Dec. Some 2 wk after the Dec. emergence of adults, flights to aestivation sites commenced. These sites were commonly remote from the lucerne stands and included such places as under stones or at the base of trees, fence posts, etc. At the commencement of aestivation, the indirect flight muscles atrophied rapidly, only to redevelop some 6-8 wk later when autumnal post-aestivatory return flight to lucerne began. During the winter, S. discoideus fed on lucerne foliage and became reproductively mature. By Oct., age-related adult mortality had begun, and for about 2 wk in Dec. no adult weevils were present at all in 1 Canterbury site. In Otago, there was a distinct generation overlap of 2-3 wk. The eclosion of new generation weevils was closely synchronized; it is suggested that this may have been the product of differential egg development and egg-laying temperature thresholds and a high 4th instar and pupal development threshold. Synchronized emergence of adults tended to accentuate the problem of defoliation caused by their feeding.


DOI: 10.1017/s000748530001138x

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