The cerambycid beetles Phoracantha recurva Newman and Phoracantha semipunctata F. were accidentally introduced into southern California where they have caused significant mortality to eucalyptus trees. In recent years, P. recurva populations have increased rapidly with a concomitant decrease in P. semipunctata numbers in their shared habitat in southern California. P. recurva has been collected in field surveys earlier in the season, suggesting that this species may be active over a broader range of temperatures and consequently have a longer seasonal activity period. We conducted lifetime fecundity studies to examine egg production, egg hatch, and adult longevity of beetles of both species subjected to temperatures typical of late fall and late winter/early spring in southern California. Overall, there were no differences in lifetime fecundity between P. recurva and P. semipunctata. P. recurva did not seem to reproduce over a larger range of temperatures than P. semipunctata, and there did not seem to be any substantial differences in their reproductive biologies. P. recurva eclosed slightly faster and lived slightly longer at reproductive temperatures than P. semipunctata, suggesting that P. recurva may have a slight reproductive advantage over P. semipunctata. However, it seems unlikely that such an advantage can account for the rapid increase in P. recurva populations and the simultaneous decrease in P. semipunctata populations in southern California.
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