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Effect of food and larval density on survival and growth of early instar greyback canegrub, Dermolepida albohirtum (Waterhouse) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)

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First- and early second-instar larvae of Dermolepida albohirtum (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) survived best and gained most weight on living roots of lawn seedlings, sugarcane or Guinea grass (Panicum maximum var. maximum) when compared with decaying plant material or soil alone. Survival of first-instar D. albohirtum was not density-dependent, but survival of older larvae (late first-instar and early second-instar) was reduced at high larval density. There was no evidence for larval combat between first instars. First instars kept at high density gained less weight and were slower to develop into second instars compared with first instars kept at low density. When food was limited, survival at high larval densities was reduced. Survival of early instars was high in sugarcane fields, probably reflecting the availability of suitable food. We conclude that food type and supply are critical factors affecting the survival and development of early instar D. albohirtum.
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Keywords: Dermolepida albohirtum; Scarabaeidae; larval density; survival

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations, PO Box 117, Ayr, Qld 4807, Australia.

Publication date: July 1, 2002

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