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Summary

The intestinal microbes residing in the red palm weevil (RPW, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) larva consume tender interior fibrous tissues of date palm trunks. The understanding of such microbiota at molecular level provides vital clues for the biological control of this devastating pest. Using pyrosequencing and shotgun strategy, we first study taxonomic profiles of the microbiota sampled at different months (March, July and November), and then confirm the impact of high-temperature stress on the microbial populations based on data from 16S rRNA amplicons using both field and laboratory samples. We further identify Klebsiella pneumoniae in November and Lactococcus lactis in July as the dominant species of the microbiota. We find that the RPW gut microbiota degrades polysaccharides and sucrose with hydrolases and that different active bacterial species in November and July are responsible for the symbiotic relationship between the microbiota and the host. Our results provide vital information for pest control and cellulolytic bacterial species characterization.