Oviposition behavior, guilds, host relationships and new host and host distribution records for the genus Merobruchus bridwell (Coleoptera: Bruchidae)

Johnson, C.D.; Siemens, D.H.

The Coleopterists Bulletin 51(1): 13-21


ISSN/ISBN: 0010-065X
Accession: 016592336

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All 18 species of Merobruchus Bridwell for which we have data attach eggs to the outside of the fruit valves of their host plants (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae). The adults emerge through the pod valves. There is a trend for Merobruchus to feed in partially dehiscent pods because species of Merobruchus feed in 40 species of hosts with partially dehiscent pods and feed in only four species of hosts with indehiscent pods. Based on numbers of host species, M. insolitus (Sharp) (19 hosts) and M. sonorensis Kingsolver (13 hosts) are generalist species of Merobruchus. Aferobruchus columbinus (Sharp), M. hastatus Kingsolver, M. major (Fall), M. politus Kingsolver, M. solitarius (Sharp), M. vacillator (Sharp) and M. xanthopygus Kingsolver are specialists with one host each. Other species range from two species of hosts (M. santarosae Kingsolver) to eight species (M. placidus (Horn)). Merobruchus julianus (Horn), M. terani Kingsolver, and M. placidus (Horn) feed only in several species of Acacia Miller, but only two species of these Acacia are the same. Species of Merobruchus range from the southwestern United States to southern Brazil and Argentina, including Mexico, Central America and the West Indies. This is the first report that several species are common in Honduras, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil.