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Habitat use and phenology of the large insular endemic grasshopper Acrostira euphorbiae (Orthoptera: Pamphagidae)

AuthorsLópez, Heriberto ; Nogales, Manuel ; Morales, E. ; Oromí, Pedro
KeywordsDevelopmental timing
Habitat selection
Insect ecology
Issue Date5-Apr-2007
PublisherCambridge University Press
CitationBulletin of Entomological Research 97(2): 117-127 (2007)
AbstractThe habitat use and the phenology of the large grasshopper Acrostira euphorbiae García & Oromí endemic to La Palma (Canary Islands) are studied. This grasshopper is entirely dependent on the Canarian endemic shrub Euphorbia lamarckii both for food and to avoid predation. Adults stay on subapical branches during the day, probably to reduce the risk of predation, and climb up to the apex at night to feed. While females seem to ensure the genetic diversity of offspring by waiting for visits by different males, the latter have to move to guarantee their reproductive success. Monophagy in this species may be related to the year-round presence of tender shoots, and to the predator-repellent toxic latex found in the host plant. Unlike related species from continental areas, adults and nymphs of A. euphorbiae are present almost all year round, probably in adaptation to the particular climate of the islands. Nymphs are more abundant in winter, when Euphorbia leaves are most available. However, adults are more abundant than nymphs in spring, summer and autumn. Males develop more quickly than females, an apparent reproductive strategy based on achieving sexual maturity to coincide with females undergoing imaginal moulting. Matings start immediately after adult females emerge. Densities oscillated between 73 and 193 individuals ha−1, which can be considered a low value compared with other continental pamphagid species.
Description11 pages, 5 figures, 5 tables.-- PMID: 17411476 [PubMed].
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007485307004828
Appears in Collections:(IPNA) Artículos
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