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Life history, aggregation and dormancy of rubber plantation litter beetle Luprops tristis Fabricius, (Tenebrionidae: Coleoptera) is described from rubber plantation belts in the western slopes of Western Ghats from the south Indian state of Kerala. The life cycle lasted 12 months, including the 5 larval instars lasting 1 month, the 3 day pupal stage, and the adult stage that can last 11 months. The adult stage includes an inactive dormancy phase of 9 months in shelters and 1 month each of active pre-dormancy (feeding) and post-dormancy (feeding and reproduction) phases that occur in rubber plantation litter. Reproductive activities are confined to the post-dormancy phase. With the onset of summer rains, huge aggregations of adults invade residential buildings and enter into a state of dormancy for 9 months. Beetle aggregations were in the range of 0.5 million to 4.5 million individuals per residential building. Dormancy in L. tristis is best classified as oligopause, which is intermediate between quiescence and diapause. Adults and larvae feed preferentially on wilted rubber tree leaves. Age-specific variation in mortality during dormancy is distinct with higher survivability for adults that have a longer pre-dormancy period. Generations are non-overlapping.
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