Mating behavior of the coffee leaf-miner Leucoptera coffeella (Guérin-Mèneville) (Lepidoptera: Lyonetiidae)

Mirian F.F. Michereff Miguel Michereff Filho Evaldo F. Vilela About the authors

Despite the importance of Leucoptera coffeella (Guérin-Mèneville) in coffee production worldwide, there is a lack of information on its reproductive biology. This knowledge will help in mass rearing, as well as support the development of behavioral control techniques for this insect. The purpose of the study was to determine the periodicity of mating and male capture and describe the mating behavior L. coffeella. In laboratory, we observed the periodicity of mating with virgin couples of different ages, zero to five days after emergence. Male activity was studied in a 0.7 ha coffee plantation, cv. Catuaí, where Delta traps were installed at 0.5 m above ground, using either virgin females or rubber septa lured with the synthetic sex pheromone. The sequence of mating behavior was studied by making visual observations and recorded of pairs placed on individual plastic tubes. Mating occurred between 4h and 6h of photophase, when the highest frequencies involved pairs with ages of one and three days after emergence, with peak of mating occurring in 5th hour of photophase. The young or old pairs showed significantly copulation frequency and the peak of matings advance in 1h. The highest male capture occurred at 12p.m. and 13 p.m. by traps with virgin females or traps with synthetic sex pheromone lures, respectively. L. coffeella is one insect with diurnal mating and the mating behavior was not different from what is know for other Lepidoptera species.

Reproduction; calling behavior; courtship; pheromone trap


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