Three populations of Asian longhorned beetles were reared from egg hatch through adult eclosion under controlled laboratory conditions. Experimental treatments comprised artificial diet for which the moisture content was manipulated to replicate a range of naturally occurring conditions within host trees.
Results of this study support the hypothesis that host wood moisture content influences lifecycle development in the Asian longhorned beetle, revealing statistically significant differences in mean time to pupation and adult eclosion between treatment groups, as well as lower mean body mass across development in treatment groups reared with artificial diet with lower moisture content. Declining host wood quality may cue later-instar larvae developing within the sapwood to complete pupation and adult eclosion sooner than would occur within unstressed host trees.
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