Observations on the biology and ecology of the chrysomelid beetle Gastrophysa polygoni in cereal fields.

Author Sotherton, N.W.
Citation Sotherton, N.W. (1982). Observations on the biology and ecology of the chrysomelid beetle Gastrophysa polygoni in cereal fields. Ecological Entomology, 7: 197-206.

Abstract

  1. Observations were made on the biology of Gastrophysu polygoni (L.) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in cereal fields in southern England in 1977, 1978 and 1979. Adults of the overwintering generation emerged in late April/ May and there were usually two generations during the spring and summer months. In 1979 there was some evidence for at least a partial third generation.
  2. In the field, the oviposition period was 44 days in the first generation and c. 25 days in the second. Fecundity varied from 586 to 1028 eggs per female and was higher in the first than in the second generation in both 1977 and 1979; in 1978 the reverse was true.
  3. Every year there were Iarge losses in the numbers within a generation. However, only one parasite was bred from the developmental stages and a pathogen attacking the larvae was found only in 1977.
  4. In some fields and in some years, harvesting and straw burning operations were carried out when eggs were present on the plants. Harvesting did not result in a significant reduction in the numbers of eggs. Burning reduced the numbers of egg batches. The effect was most severe when the straw was spread over the field prior to burning.
  5. In the field, significantly more eggs were laid on plants of Polygonum aviculare than on P.convolvulus. In the laboratory, larval survival was higher and duration of development shorter on these two species than on other Polygonaceae found on the farm.

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