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Geographic distribution, large-scale spatial structure and diversity of parasitoids of the seed-feeding beetle Acanthoscelides macrophthalmus

  • A. Wood (a1), E.B. Haga (a1), V.A. Costa (a2) and M.N. Rossi (a1)

Abstract

Bruchine beetles are highly host-specific seed feeders during the larval stage. Although some specific parasitoid families have been recorded attacking bruchine beetles, most studies have been done at small spatial scales. Therefore, the current knowledge about the diversity and the geographic distribution of parasitoid species parasitizing bruchines is scarce, especially at a wide geographic area that extends over large distances through a latitudinal cline (i.e. large-scale spatial structure). The present study determined the species richness and evenness of parasitoids attacking the bruchine beetle Acanthoscelides macrophthalmus feeding on Leucaena leucocephala seeds, examined their geographic distribution, and characterized the large-scale spatial structure in parasitoid species composition. A total of 1420 parasitoids (all Hymenoptera) belonging to four families, five subfamilies and eight species were collected (genera: Horismenus, Paracrias, Urosigalphus, Stenocorse, Chryseida, Eupelmus). Most parasitoid species showed wide spatial distribution, high evenness in species abundance and the species richness estimators were close to stabilization (approximately eight species). Overall, greater similarity was observed in the species composition of plant populations near to each other than those farther apart, revealing a large-scale spatial structure in parasitoid species composition.

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Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence Phone: +55 11 33193300 Fax: +55 11 33193400 E-mail: rossi.unifesp@gmail.com

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