The coconut hispine beetle, Brontispa longissima is a foliage feeder of the coconut palm, Cocos nucifera and other palm plants. Because B. longissima, supposedly native to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, is now distributed in Ishigaki, Okinawa and Ogasawara, mainland Japan faces the potential risk of invasion by this pest. Suitability of palms other than C. nucifera for development and reproduction of B. longissima has been neglected, and the possibility of the other palms as alternative food plants for mass-rearing of this insect has not been evaluated. To evaluate the potential risk to palms in Japan and the possibility of the palms as alternative food plants, we examined host plant suitability for immature development of B. longissima, using the following exotic and native plants in Japan, Chrysalidocarpus lutescens, Collinia elegans, Livistona chinensis, Phoenix canariensis, Rhapis excelsa, Rhapis humilis, Washingtonia filifera, and Typha latifolia. When given each of those plant leaves, the percentage survival from first instar to adult emergence was 70% on C. lutescens, 55% on L. chinensis, 45% on P. canariensis, 80% on W. filifera, and 45% on T. latifolia. The adults given one of these suitable plants during larval and adult stages oviposited. Although larvae fed on C. elegans, R. excelsa or R. humilis, they never developed to pupae. When given a choice among the suitable plant species, B. longissima adults preferred W. filifera over the other plants. Considering suitability for immature development and reproduction of B. longissima, the ornamental palms such as C. lutescens, L. chinensis, P. canariensis, and W. filifera can be potential hosts in mainland Japan.
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