Some biological aspects of Leucothyreus femoratus (Burmeister) (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae), in oil palm plantations from Colombia

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L.C. Martínez *
A. Plata-Rueda
(*) Corresponding Author:
L.C. Martínez | luis.castrillon@ufv.br

Abstract

The scarabaeid Leucothyreus femoratus (Burmeister) is described as causing damage to oil palm leaves, marking its first report as a pest in Colombia. The presence of this insect has necessitated determination of its life cycle, biometrics and food consumption as important aspects of its biology. Experiments were conducted under laboratory conditions in the municipality of San Vicente, Santander, Colombia. Mass rearing of L. femoratus was conducted, simulating field conditions and eating habits under laboratory conditions. Its life cycle and description of its developmental stages were determined, taking into account stage-specific survival. The duration of the life cycle of L. femoratus was determined to be 170.4±6.53, with an overall survival rate of 96.7%. Biometrical measurements were taken of the insect’s width, length and weight. Adults are black, and males and females are differentiated by size and by colour of their legs. The width, length and weight of the insect are proportional to the growth stage. Daily food consumption rate was evaluated in adult L. femoratus, and damage to leaves of Elaeis guineensis is described. Adult L. femoratus consumed 13 mm2 of foliage per day, and injury to leaves of E. guineensis was square or rectangular in shape. This insect’s life cycle duration and size are factors that could be considered in determining its feeding habits and pest status. Details of the life cycle, physical description and consumption rate of L. femoratus can help in the development of strategies to manage its populations in oil palm plantations.

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