An understanding of the relative importance of extrinsic and intrinsic factors in determining the potential distribution and mating success of individuals is critical for the successful monitoring and management of pest species. Using a combination of field observations and a caged field experiment, we explored the roles of environmental and individual variation on the formation of mating aggregations and mating success in the buprestid beetle Capnodis tenebrionis (Linnaeus, 1767), a pest species of stone fruit trees. Our field observations revealed that the formation of aggregations is influenced by a range of environmental factors including temperature, photoperiod, and population density. However, aggregations were not at random and were more likely to occur on the section of the plant with highest incidence of solar radiation and thus higher temperatures. Data from our experiment with caged beetles in the field further indicate that the reproductive behavior of this species varies with temperature. The probability of a successful mating occurring was also positively related to both male and female size. Females of C. tenebrionis mate several times over a 4-h period, but generally not with the same male. Information obtained from these studies is useful to define the most appropriate time for pest control, especially adopting strategies that interfere with reproduction.
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