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Overwintering Survival, Phenology, Voltinism, and Reproduction Among Different Populations of the Leaf Beetle Diorhabda elongata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

Milbrath, L.R., Deloach, C.J., Tracy, J.L.
Environmental entomology 2007 v.36 no.6 pp. 1356
Diorhabda elongata, overwintering, mortality, phenology, life history, insect reproduction, oviposition, fecundity, larval development, phytophagous insects, biological control agents, Tamarix, weed control, Texas
The classical biological control program for exotic saltcedars (various Tamarix species and hybrids) has involved the assessment of different populations of the leaf beetle Diorhabda elongata (Brullé) s.l. that are promising for release in areas of North America that are located south of 37° N latitude. We report here the overwintering survival, phenology, and voltinism of four D. elongata populations (Tunisia, Crete, Uzbekistan, and Turpan) in eastcentral Texas. In addition, we studied their developmental and reproductive biology, which also included the previously released population from Fukang, China. Overwintering survival of the adult beetles of the Crete and Tunisia populations was 90-99 and 75%, respectively. The Uzbekistan and Turpan beetles had <31% overwintering survival. All D. elongata populations began ovipositing in late March. The Turpan beetle may produce three summer generations and ceased oviposition by September. The Crete beetle produced four summer generations plus a partial fifth generation and ceased ovipositing by mid-October. Both the Tunisia and Uzbekistan beetles produced five summer generations plus an unsuccessful partial sixth generation; oviposition extended into late November. Larval development and survival were generally similar among D. elongata populations. The Turpan and Fukang beetles had a shorter preoviposition period and produced more but smaller egg masses than the other beetle populations. However, this did not alter a female's lifetime fecundity and generally did not affect the innate capacity for increase compared with other populations. The Crete beetle seems to be the most promising for release in central Texas and points further south.