The four commonest species of Sitona injuring leguminous crops in Israel were found during a survey in 1957–62 to be S. lividipes Fhs., S. hispidulus (F.), S. crinitus (Hbst.) and S. lineatus (L.). Adults of all four were collected in the field in December-January each year, at the termination of diapause, and kept in the laboratory for observations on their bionomics. Larvae and pupae did not survive in the laboratory, and therefore these stages were reared in the soil outside (where suitable food-plants had been grown) from eggs laid by the adults in the laboratory and kept at known temperatures until they were about to hatch. The soil was later examined daily for pupae.
Egg-laying began in December, larvae were found in January–March, pupae in March–April, and adults of the new generation in April–May. These adults fed freely but did not oviposit, and in June–July they sought shelter and entered diapause, which lasted until the close of the year. Feeding was then resumed, oviposition began shortly afterwards, and death occurred up to 250–300 days later.
The eggs of all four species are creamy or yellowish white when laid but soon become glistening black. High humidity was necessary for hatching; no eggs of S. lividipes or S. hispidulus hatched at relative humidities of 76 per cent., or less, and virtually none of S. crinitus or S. lineatus at 56 per cent, or less. In favourable humidities, the percentage hatching was reduced at constant temperatures exceeding 25°C., except in S. lineatus, in which it was not affected up to 29°C. The threshold temperatures for development of eggs of S. lividipes, S. hispidulus, S. crinitus and S. lineatus were 4·8, 4·6, 5·8 and 6·5°C., respectively, and the thermal constants were 180, 211, 166 and 145 day-degrees C. The mean larval and (in brackets) pupal periods outdoors were 52 (23), 58 (34), 36 (25) and 38 (21) days, respectively. The average numbers of eggs laid were 843, 719, 519 and 1,113 per female, and the mean numbers laid per day were 10·2, 8·5, 9·6 and 17·5. These data were obtained by feeding adults on a variety of food-plants throughout their life in the laboratory. In another series of observations, adults were fed on the same type of food-plant throughout. Egg production of S. lividipes and S. hispidulus was greatest on clover (Trifolium alexandrinum) and least on broad bean (Vicia faba) and pea, respectively; that of S. crinitus and S. lineatus was greatest on pea and least on broad bean and clover, respectively.