Biology and ecology of the Dusmoecetes Jeannel (Col. Curculionidae) species complex on Marion Island

S. L. Chown, C. H. Scholtz

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The Dusmoecetes species complex on sub-Antarctic Marion Island comprises two species. The larger species, D. similis (C.O. Waterhouse), feeds on angiosperms as adults and detritus as larvae, whereas the smaller species, D. marioni Jeannel feeds on bryophytes in all stages. D. similis has seven larval instars and a generation time of one year or longer. D. marioni has between five and seven larval instars, depending on the plant community it inhabits, and a generation time of one year or less. Immatures of D. similis have a theoretical null point of development of -0.62°C and a Q10 of 3.57. In both species there are overlapping generations in the field, although in the case of D. similis there is a distinct seasonal emergence of adults starting in September. Mean standing crop of larvae on the coastal plain is approximately 5.5 kg (dry mass)·ha-1, but can be as high as 11.85 kg (dry mass)·ha-1 in Azorella selago dominated communities. This study indicates that both species are important herbivores and/or detritivores on Marion Island.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-99
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Biology
  • Curculionid beetles
  • Ectemnorhinini
  • Life cycle
  • Standing crop

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