A laboratory colony of Ceratapion basicorne (Illiger) was established from adults reared from infested plants of yellow starthistle, Centaurea solstitialis L. (Asteraceae), that were collected in eastern Turkey. Newly emerged adults fed on yellow starthistle foliage and mated, but females did not oviposit. The feeding rate of females decreased to almost zero by 16 d after emergence, whereas males continued to feed for at least 26 d. Dispersal activity was initially high but decreased to low levels in 2–3 wk. After 6 wk, most adults were hiding inside tightly curled dry leaves and in the crevices of crumpled paper towel. Insects were held in a cold dark incubator (5°C) for at least 3 mo to terminate reproductive diapause. Females began ovipositing 4.4 d after being placed on yellow starthistle leaves at 19°C. The oviposition period lasted a mean of 20.6 d, and lifetime fecundity was 34.5 eggs. Daily fecundity was high during the first 14 d of oviposition (1.8 eggs/d) and declined to low levels (0.3 eggs/d). Feeding rate of ovipositing females during the first 2 wk was 19.2 holes/d, but this decreased to 4.7 holes/d for the remainder of the 45-d experiment. Female feeding rate was highly correlated to oviposition rate. Development time of eggs until eclosion of larvae at 19°C was 8.5 d and survivorship until eclosion was 73%. Development time from oviposition until adult emergence at ≈19°C was 77 d. These results provide a foundation for conducting experiments to evaluate host plant specificity and potential impact on the weed.
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