Effects of temperature on life history traits of Ophraella communa (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) on Parthenium hysterophorus (Asteraceae).
Bitterweed (Parthenium hysterophorus) is a weed of economic concern in locations of invasion and is native to Central and South America. The ragweed leaf beetle (RLB, Ophraella communa) has been reported as a potential biocontrol agent. This study investigated the life history of RLBs on bitterweed under laboratory conditions at three different temperatures (20, 25, and 30°C). The objectives of this study were to identify the favorable temperature for RLBs to develop on bitterweed and to determine effects of temperature on both sexes of the immature stages and adults. The study results revealed that the developmental period decreased with an increase in temperature and that the period exhibited no statistical difference between the sexes at the same temperature. Survival rate per stage was highest at 25°C and lowest at 20°C and decreased with an increase in age. Fecundity was highest at 25°C and lowest at 20°C on bitterweed. These results thus demonstrate that 25°C had the most favorable effects on the life history of the RLBs on bitterweed.