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The root borer, Oryctes agamemnon Burmeister (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), has become a serious pest of date palm trees in southwest Tunisia. Under natural conditions, mated females lay eggs in different parts of palm tree: between the hairy roots, all along the stem at the leaf axils and at the base of cut branches. Larvae bore into targeted places of the plant and were never seen outside. Pupation takes place in the plant and emergence of the adults begins in June. Larval feeding causes extensive damage to the respiratory roots. To examine the life cycle more closely, the O. agamemnon life cycle was studied under laboratory conditions. Different larval stages were collected from infested oases in Tozeur and placed in plastic boxes with natural food that was collected from the oases. After emergence, adults were paired in opaque plastic boxes for mating with the same food substrate which also served as an oviposition site. Eggs were collected daily and isolated in new boxes. Hatched eggs were recorded. The number of larval instars was determined by measuring the width of cephalic capsules. Under laboratory conditions (23 ± 2'C and 55 ± 6% RH)embryogenesis took 14.3 ± 1.42 days and the first, second and third larval instars were 33.1 ± 2.69, 63.88 ± 6.6 and 118.3 ± 13.38 days respectively. The pupal period lasted 24.1 ± 3.02 days and the adult 65.27 ± 9.48 days. These facts indicated that O. agamemnon is univoltine.
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