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Reproductive biology of the great capricorn beetle, Cerambyx cerdo (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae): a protected but occasionally harmful species

  • L.M. Torres-Vila (a1)

Cerambyx cerdo (Cc) is a protected saproxylic beetle in Europe, although it is increasingly reported as an oak ‘pest’. Cc ecological features are relatively well known, but, its reproductive biology is still poorly understood. Hence, we investigated the reproductive traits of Cc under laboratory conditions. In females, body length was 44.1 ± 0.9 mm, 28–53 (mean ± SE, range); fecundity 143 ± 11 eggs, 33–347; fertility 78 ± 1%, 65–93; oviposition period 44 ± 3 days, 13–128 and longevity 59 ± 5 days, 16–157. Fecundity was positively correlated with female size, longevity and oviposition period. Daily fecundity was 3.5 ± 0.2 eggs/day, 0.9–6.5 showing a fluctuating synovigenic pattern with a slight decreasing trend over time. Egg length was 3.74 ± 0.01 mm, 2.3–6.0 and egg volume 5.45 ± 0.04 mm3, 2.4–9.6. Egg size was correlated with female size, but, the relative size of eggs was larger in smaller females. Incubation time was 13.5 ± 0.1 days, 7–28. Hatching was superior in larger eggs and neonate size was positively correlated to egg volume. Females were polyandrous (up to 19 matings), but, multiple mating did not enhance fecundity or fertility. In males, body length was 41.8 ± 0.8 mm, 29–53 and longevity 49 ± 3 days, 9–124. Male longevity was unrelated to body size. Males were polygynous (up to 16 matings) and mating number did not affect male longevity. Overall, females were larger and lived longer than males. Cc reproductive traits are compared with those other Cerambycidae, especially with the congeneric pest Cerambyx welensii. Our data may be valuable to improve the protection/management measures of Cc in dehesa woodlands and other oak forests.

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