Microtheca punctigera (Achard) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) is a major pest of Brassicaceae family plants in Brazil and occurs together with M. semilaevis. Occurrence of larvae and adults of M. punctigera and M. semilaevis Stal in five host plants grown in closely patchs was investigated in three periods in the field [Fall/Winter 2001 (May 10 to July 21); Fall 2002 (April 3 to June 12), and Spring 2002 (September 20 to November 15)]. Treatments were Chinese cabbage, mustard, watercress, arrugula and radish. The standard of occurrences of larvae of M. punctigera + M. semialevis was not repeated in the three trials: Chinese and mustard were the preferred food in 2001 Fall Winter while in the 2002 Fall and 2002 Spring preference was predominated for mustard and arrugula. M. punctigera was the predominant species during the experiments and populations were higher in the winter periods. In general, M. punctigera beetles were found mostly on Chinese cabbage and mustard, but in some assessments populations were high also in other hosts (mostly arugula). M. semialevis beetles occurred mostly on Chinese cabbage and mustard.
Chrysomelidae; host preference; assessments; Brassica juncea ; Nasturtium officinale ; Brassica pekinensis ; Eruca sativa ; Raphanus sativus