The coconut bug, Pseudotheraptus wayi Brown (Heteroptera: Coreidae), is a polyphagous pest of economically important crops as well as wild plants in eastern and southern Africa. This study was undertaken to determine peak mating, oviposition and feeding times of this pest and compare incidences of these activities between photophase and scotophase with a view to providing a basis for further studies on this pest as well as proper timing of control interventions against it in the field. The study was laboratory based and the insects were observed in cages containing French bean pods as their food. Data show that mating incidences were approximately four times more prevalent during scotophase than photophase with a peak at mid scotophase. Diel oviposition curve had a major peak at late photophase and a minor one at late scotophase; and approximately twice more eggs were laid during photophase than scotophase. Nymphal feeding patterns had extended peaks between 18:00 and 0:00, with approximately twice as many nymphs feeding during scotophase than during photophase. Adult feeding pattern was different from that of nymphs, i.e. it was unaffected by time of day or light and darkness, probably because the adults had to balance feeding with mating and oviposition.
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Vol. 21 • No. 1