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Effect of seed moisture content and D-limonene on oviposition decisions of the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus

By Taghread Hudaib, William Hayes, Sarah Brown and Paul Eady

Abstract

Callosobruchus maculatus (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Bruchidae) is a cosmopolitan pest of stored pulses and legumes. Under legume storage conditions neither adults nor larvae drink, with larvae obtaining their hydration from metabolic water. However, lack of water limits female fecundity and longevity, thus females might be expected to preferentially oviposit on seeds with high moisture content so as to minimize water stress on their offspring. This was tested by offering females a choice of seeds that differed in relation to their level of water content. After controlling for differences in seed size, females were found to preferentially oviposit on the driest seeds. Offspring size and larval survival were equivalent on seeds that differed in moisture content, which in combination with the preference to lay on the driest seeds would indicate that the egg laying decisions of C. maculatus females do not function to minimize larval water stress. Analysis of the chemical volatiles released by seeds that differed in their moisture content revealed a greater level of d-limonene in the environment surrounding high moisture seeds. d-limonene has known anti-herbivory properties, thus we suggest the observed female preference for dry seeds may be related to the observed difference in the level of d-limonene in the immediate vicinity of beans that differ with respect to their moisture content

Topics: C142 Reproductive Biology, C100 Biology
Publisher: Wiley
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1570-7458.2010.01044.x
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:4318
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