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Ecology of Amblycerus crassipunctatus Ribeiro-Costa (Coleoptera: Bruchidae) in seeds of Humiriaceae, a new host family for bruchids, with an ecological comparison to other species of Amblycerus



Ecology of Amblycerus crassipunctatus Ribeiro-Costa (Coleoptera: Bruchidae) in seeds of Humiriaceae, a new host family for bruchids, with an ecological comparison to other species of Amblycerus



Coleopterists Bulletin 55(1): 37-48



In Venezuela Amblycerus crassipunctatus Ribeiro-Costa feeds in seeds of Vantanea minor Bentham, Humiriaceae, a new host family for the Bruchidae. Species of Amblycerus Thunberg now are known to feed in from 11 to 14 families of plants, more than any other bruchid genus. Ecological relationships of A. crassipunctatus with its host were compared to A. nigromarginatus (Motschulsky), A. luteonotatus (Pic), A. dispar (Sharp), A. guazumicola Kingsolver and Johnson, A. vitis (Schaeffer), A. acapulcensis Kingsolver, A. robiniae (Fabricius), A. hoffinanseggi (Gyllenhal), A. testaceus (Pic), A. submaculatus (Pic), A. cistelinus (Gyllenhal), A. longesuturalis (Pic), and A. schwarzi Kingsolver and their hosts. A. crassipunctatus damaged 28.5% to 39% of V. minor fruits examined. In other species of Amblycerus where these figures are available, from 01.0% to 61% of the fruits were damaged. We found that eggs of almost all of the species discussed have a similar flange with glue on the periphery. This kind of attachment may prevent the egg from becoming detached from the fruit as it matures and during eclosion of the first instar larva or protect eggs against mechanical injuries. Larvae of most species of Amblycerus feed in several seeds during their development, but A. dispar and A. vitis feed in only one seed. Apparently almost all species of Amblycerus spin a cocoon for pupation. This was evolved probably because the large size of the adults led to the habit of feeding in several seeds. Most bruchids are much smaller in body size than species of Amblycerus and thus pupate inside a single seed that negates the need for a cocoon.

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