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Revista chilena de historia natural

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CENTELLA, CRISTIAN; JEREZ, VIVIANE; GONZALEZ, URCESINO  and  BITTNER, MAGALIS. Specialization on the host use of Dictyneis asperatus (Blanchard 1851) in a fragment of sclerophyllous-higrophyllous shrublands in Península of Hualpén, Chile. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2003, vol.76, n.3, pp.391-400. ISSN 0716-078X.

We evaluated trophic relationships between the coleopteran D. asperatus and five potencial hosts plants (Peumus boldus, Lithrea caustica, Cryptocarya alba, Aextoxicon punctatum and Luma apiculata) in a coastal forest of the Hualpén peninsula (36 S). Leaf shape and degree of sclerophylly were examined as possible determinants of host preferences and insect survival. Although D. asperatus was significantly more abundant on P. boldus, there were no significant differences in consumption of leaves of P. boldus, L. caustica and L. apiculata. Adults insects tended to stay under the concave leafs of boldo. Highest and lowest survival was registered in insects fed on P. boldus (72%) and A. punctatum (26%) respectively. The concave leaf of P. boldus represents a possible refuge, and the higher abundance and survival of insects, in spite of the highly sclerophyllous nature of this species, suggests that D. asperatus is an ecological specialist in P. boldus. However, as D. asperatus is common on other plant species at other sites, it can only be considered a local specialist on P. boldus at Hualpén.

Keywords : insect; trophic preferences; specialist; host plant.

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