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Comparison of the life history strategies of three Dysdercus true bugs (Heteroptera: Pyrrhocoridae), with special reference to their seasonal host plant use

Authors

  • Katsuyuki KOHNO,

    Corresponding author
    1. Okinawa Subtropical Station, Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, Maezato, Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan
      Katsuyuki Kohno, National Institute of Vegetable and Tea Science, 360 Kusawa, Ano-cho, Mie, 514-2392 Japan. Email: kohno@affrc.go.jp
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  • Ngan BUI THI

    1. Okinawa Subtropical Station, Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, Maezato, Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan
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Katsuyuki Kohno, National Institute of Vegetable and Tea Science, 360 Kusawa, Ano-cho, Mie, 514-2392 Japan. Email: kohno@affrc.go.jp

Abstract

The life history strategy and seasonal host plant use of three Dysdercus bugs (D. cingulatus, D. poecilus and D. decussatus) were compared based on 2 years of twice monthly observations on Ishigaki-jima Island (24°N, 124°E) in the southernmost part of Japan. Dysdercus poecilus reproduced almost year round, exclusively on Sida rhombifolia, which bears fruit and/or seeds almost year round. Dysdercus cingulatus reproduced successively on various malvaceous and bombacaceous plant species, according to their seasonal fruiting cycles. Its robust reproduction was observed on Hibiscus makinoi during winter months and on Chorisia speciosa and Bombax ceiba in early summer, whereas small-scale reproduction was observed on various malvaceous plant species during the summer and autumn months. Dysdercus decussatus reproduced on Hibiscus tiliaceus and Thespesia populnea during the summer months, when these host plants bear abundant fruit and/or seeds, and its adults formed conspicuous aggregations without copulation on the underside of the leaves of those plants from November to the subsequent May. Each Dysdercus species showed a species-specific life history strategy according to the differences in the phenology of their host plants.

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