Host specificity of leaf-beetle larvae (Chrysomelidae) feeding on roots

Virtually all studies of the host specificity of beetles in rainforests concerns only adults, while the host specificity or feeding habits of the larvae is practically unknown. Our present study is focused on the host range and the host specificity of root-feeding larvae of Chrysomelidae, particularly on host trees from Moraceae and Euphorbiaceae. We used traps to collect adults emerging from theground in the vicinity of target trees. In order to ensure that the beetles emerge only from these trees, surrounding vegetation is cleared at the beginning of the experiment.

Study leaders at our Center: Rapo Pokon, Brus Isua and Sam Kason.

Key paper: Pokon, R., Novotny, V & Samuelson, G. A. (2005) Host specialization and species richness of root feeding chrysomelid larvae (Chrysomelidae, Coleoptera) in a New Guinea rainforest. Journal of Tropical Ecology 21, 595-604 [ pdf file 128 kB ]