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1 December 2010 Population Dynamics and Structure of the Neotropical Bark Bug Phloea subquadrata (Hemiptera: Phloeidae) on Plinia cauliflora (Myrtaceae)
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Phloea subquadrata Spinola, 1837 (Pentatomoidea: Phloeidae) belongs to a small family of sap feeding bugs that live on tree trunks, on which they are cryptic because of their coloration and flat body. There are a few studies concerning phloeid anatomy and biology, but almost nothing is known about their ecology. In this study, population dynamics and structure of P. subquadrata on the host tree Plinia cauliflora (Myrtaceae) were investigated during 3 yr in a semideciduous forest in southeast Brazil. Nymphs and adults were active all year round, but the egg-laying season was mainly restricted to the warm, rainy season (September–March). Population density slightly increased at the end of this season because of reproduction. Population age structure changed markedly over time, with nymphs reaching the adult stage in the subsequent early-to-mid rainy season. Abiotic factors, such as rainfall and temperature, were correlated with female oviposition and population dynamics and phenology. Sex ratio was male-biased, not differing from 1:1 only during the adult recruitment period (October–January). Under dry weather conditions, phloeids were distributed closer to the base of the tree trunks when compared with rainy conditions. Our results suggest that seasonality and variations in weather conditions are important driving forces of population dynamics and phenology of P. subquadrata, as well as the microhabitat selection on host trees.

© 2010 Entomological Society of America
Adriana T. Salomão and João Vasconcellos-Neto "Population Dynamics and Structure of the Neotropical Bark Bug Phloea subquadrata (Hemiptera: Phloeidae) on Plinia cauliflora (Myrtaceae)," Environmental Entomology 39(6), 1724-1730, (1 December 2010).
Received: 30 September 2009; Accepted: 1 September 2010; Published: 1 December 2010

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