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Trends in Entomology   Volumes    Volume 13 
Insects associated with fruits and seeds of plants of the northeast area of the Gran Sabana plateau in the Venezuelan Guayana
Elena RaimĂșndez-Urrutia
Pages: 53 - 67
Number of pages: 15
Trends in Entomology
Volume 13 

Copyright © 2017 Research Trends. All rights reserved

The Gran Sabana plateau, at the Venezuelan Guayana, is biogeographically considered as part of the Amazonia. The understanding of the biodiversity and specificity of insects associated with fruits and seeds of plant communities at this plateau is scarce. The aim of this study was to document the insects associated with fruits and seeds of plants at the Gran Sabana plateau. Fruit samples of 145 plant species from four natural communities were kept inside nets until the emergence of adult insects. When insects were found inside the nets, seed damage was assessed. Five coleopteran, four lepidopteran and 10 hymenopteran families were identified from samples of 53 plant species; the first two groups were recognized to have a role in pre-dispersal seed predation, while the last one was recognized to be insect parasitoids although some species could be seed-eaters. New genera and species of insects were found and almost all of the insect-fruit or insect-seed interactions could represent new records. More accurate identifications in some groups of insects are still necessary to confirm these findings. The plant-insect interaction is inferred to be highly specific because, within insect groups consuming seeds, a high proportion was obtained from a single plant species or from plant species taxonomically related. Occasionally, the same insect species was found in the same plant species collected in different communities. These findings support the hypothesis of a high specialization in the insect-plant trophic relationships in the Neotropical region.
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