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Massive invasion of the litter dwelling beetle, Luprops tristis Fabricius (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), numbering about 0.5 to 4 million per residential building following summer showers, and their prolonged stay in a state of dormancy, make them an extreme nuisance in rubber tree plantation belts of the Western Ghats in south India. Food preference of post-dormancy adults, larvae and teneral adults stages towards tender, mature and senescent leaves were assessed in three choice and no choice leaf disc tests. All stages have strong preference towards fallen tender leaves and lowest preference towards senescent leaves indicating that leaf age is a major attribute determining food selection and food preference of L. tristis. Ready availability of the preferred, prematurely fallen, tender rubber tree leaves as a food resource is suggested as being responsible for the exceptionally high abundance of L. tristis in rubber tree plantation belts.
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