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Soil temperature and diapause maintenance in eggs of the spittlebug, Deois flavopicta (Hemiptera: Cercopidae)

Temperatura do solo e manutenção da diapausa em ovos da cigarrinha-das-pastagens, Deois flavopicta (Hemiptera: Cercopidae)

Diapausing eggs of the neotropical pasture pest, Deois flavopicta (Stal) (Hemiptera: Cercopidae), were exposed to low overnight temperatures that simulated field conditions during the dry season (23/12, 23/15 and 23/18ºC day/night), for different periods (0-60 days). After treatment, eggs were kept at 28ºC and contact water (100% humidity) until hatching. A group of diapausing eggs were kept all the time under this last condition as a control treatment. Time for hatching (in degree-days) was reduced with decrease in low overnight temperature and increase of exposure time to these cold shocks, although there was no interaction between the factors. Regression of exposure time to cold shock influencing the expected mean hatching time produced independent equations for temperatures below 18ºC and 15ºC. We constructed a model that simulates the expected proportion of the population hatching after the beginning of rainy season based on regression equations to mean hatching time and associated standard deviation. The simulation generated for the model correlated significantly with nymphal population observed in the field. These results showed that overnight soil temperatures below 18ºC, as occurs in Central and South-eastern Brazil between May and August, shorten the period of diapause, increase quiescent eggs in the soil, and may synchronize the population hatching.

Insecta; phenology; dormancy; cold treatment; population dynamics

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