Attraction to Host Plant Volatiles and Feeding Performance of Naupactus Xanthographus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is Affected by Starvation

Waleska Vera, Leonardo Parra, Andrés Quiroz, Jan Bergmann

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7 Scopus citations


The grape weevil, Naupactus xanthographus Germar (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is a polyphagous insect which is a cause of important damage to several economically relevant crops, including grape (Vitis vinifera) and avocado (Persea americana), in several countries of Latin America. The larvae cause damage to the roots and rootlets of plants, and adults feed on leaves of their host plant. Despite its economic importance, there are few reports on the behavioral and nutritional ecology of this weevil. In this context, laboratory feeding and olfactometer bioassays with N. xanthographus were performed. The feeding performance was evaluated by measuring the weight variation of the insects after 1 and 6 h of feeding on grape or avocado leaves, respectively. After 1 h of feeding, insects showed no significant differences in weight increase. However, after a period of 6 h of feeding, males had continued feeding on grape leaves, but not on avocado leaves. Bioassays using a Y-tube olfactometer showed that males are attracted to volatiles of both host plants. Furthermore, starved males and females showed no preference to volatiles of grape or avocado. However, non-starved males and females preferred grape volatiles over avocado volatiles. Based on the combined results of the assays, we conclude that grape is preferred over avocado for N. xanthographus. Furthermore, this is the first report on the effect of starvation on the attraction to host plant volatiles in Curculionidae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-56
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Feeding performance
  • grape weevil
  • insect-plant interaction
  • olfactometer assays
  • starvation


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