Diabrotica speciosa (Germar) is an economically important pest of Neotropical cultures and represents a quarantine risk for Neartic and Paleartic Regions. Despite its agricultural importance, few studies have been done on mating behavior and chemical communication, which has delayed the development of behavioral techniques for population management, such as the use of pheromone traps. In this study, we determined 1) the age at first mating; 2) diel rhythm of matings; 3) number of matings over 7 d; 4) the sequence of D. speciosa activities during premating, mating, and postmating; 5) the duration of each activity; and 6) response to male and female conspecific volatiles in Y-tube olfactometer. The first mating occurred between the third and seventh day after adult emergence and the majority of pairs mated on the fourth day after emergence. Pairs of D. speciosa showed a daily rhythm of mating with greater sexual activity between the end of the photophase and the first half of the scotophase. During the 7 d of observation, most pairs mated only once, although 30% mated two, three, or four times. In a Y-tube olfactometer, males were attracted by virgin females as well as by the volatile compounds emitted by females. Neither males nor their volatiles were attractive to either sex. Our observation provide information about mating behavior of D. speciosa, which will be useful in future research in chemical communication, such as identification of the pheromone and development of management techniques for this species using pheromone traps.
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Vol. 41 • No. 3