Print version ISSN 1519-566X
PAULINO NETO, Hipólito F.; ROMERO, Gustavo Q. and VASCONCELLOS NETO, João. Interactions between Oncideres humeralis Thomson (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and Melastomataceae: host-plant selection and patterns of host use in south-east Brazil. Neotrop. Entomol. [online]. 2005, vol.34, n.1, pp. 7-14. ISSN 1519-566X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-566X2005000100002.
Oncideres humeralis Thomson (Cerambycidae) was observed girdling the main trunk of plants of the Melastomataceae family in south-eastern Brazil. The main objectives of this work were to identify which host plants O. humeralis selects in the field and which are the characteristics of the preferred plants. O. humeralis specifically used Melastomataceae as host plants, attacking only four of the 11 species present in the study area. From the four attacked species, Miconia sellowiana Naudin and M. jucunda Triana were the preferred owes; they are the most abundant and the largest species, respectively. When the plants were taller, O. humeralis girdled the trunk at higher positions, indicating that females select plants with optimum trunk diameter and adjust the point to girdle according to the host height. Females also selected plants with greater numbers of secondary branches. These results indicate that O. humeralis is specific to certain species of Melastomataceae, and that host plants are selected on the basis of their abundance, size or number of secondary branches.
Keywords : Wood-borers; intra-xylematic phloem; insect-plant interaction; Miconia.