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1 October 2018 Condylops (Neocondylops) Obrieni Wittmer (Coleoptera: Melyridae): Distribution, Plant Associations, Seasonality, and Mating Behavior
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Condylops (Neocondylops) obrieni Wittmer is a small (1.8 mm long), shiny blue melyrid of the subfamily Malachiinae. It is the only Nearctic member of an otherwise Old World genus. Described from Florida in the late 1980s, it has been collected in southeastern Alabama and is newly reported from Georgia, with additional records from Alabama and Florida. Seasonality and mating behavior were observed in the Ohoopee Dunes system of southeastern Georgia from 2011 to 2016 and in 2018. Adults were found from early February to early May in ultra-xeric communities, especially on Florida rosemary (Ceratiola ericoides Michx.; Ericaceae) and saw palmetto (Serenoa repens [W. Bartram] Small; Arecaceae). The wider leaf blades of saw palmetto facilitated behavioral observations, in contrast to the needlelike leaves of Florida rosemary. Males typically appeared a few days before females, whereas females began to predominate by early April. Early in the season, solitary adults (mainly females) fed on pine pollen adhering to leaves of saw palmetto. Sexual interaction began by late February, with males running up and down leaves behind females. Periodically, a pair would stop, the male circling the female, before the pair initiated antennal interplay; after separating, some pairs resumed head-to-head contact. Of the approximately 75 pairs that were observed, courtship resulted in only two copulations. In pairs already found in copula, males remained immobile, slightly above the substrate ventral surface up, as the female walked up and down leaves. Males remained unresponsive when approached by other males.

A. G. Wheeler and E. Richard Hoebeke "Condylops (Neocondylops) Obrieni Wittmer (Coleoptera: Melyridae): Distribution, Plant Associations, Seasonality, and Mating Behavior," Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 120(4), (1 October 2018).
Published: 1 October 2018

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