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Biology and ecology of Arcyptera brevipennis vicheti Brunner, 1861

Schultner E., Blanchet E., Pagès C., Foucart A., Vassal J.M., Lecoq M.. 2009. Metaleptea (Special Meeting) : p. 111-111. International Congress of Orthopterology. 10, 2009-06-21/2009-06-25, Antalya (Turquie).

Arcyptera brevipennis vicheti Brunner, 1861 (Acrididae, Orthoptera) is a remarkable grasshopper, native of Mediterranean grassland habitats in Southern France and North-East Spain. Modifications in land use are endangering the survival of A. b. vicheti. In this study, we describe aspects of this species¿ life-cycle for the first time. Morphology and development were studied by rearing hoppers in the laboratory. Population ecology and dynamics were studied by bi-weekly population counts on two experimental sites on the Causse d'Aumelas in the Hérault department (France) during the spring season 2008. We recorded the temporal evolution of vegetation and habitat structure in order to establish relationships between environmental factors and the species¿ life-cycle. Feeding preferences were studied by analysing the faecal contents and reproductive capacity by examining the egg-pods and dissecting of female ovaries. Development of A. b. vicheti passes through five stages and is closely associated with the Mediterranean spring season. Hatchlings are prompted by the rise in temperature and humidity mid-April and may continue until mid-May. By mid-June, all individuals in the field are adult, resulting in a mean development time of 42 days. Females lay 16 eggs on average and deposit two clutches in their lifetime; the resulting population fecundity lies at approx. 7 eggs per imago. Our results revealed that A. b. vicheti is a true ecological specialist whose survival depends on the conservation of grassland habitats. (Texte intégral)

Mots-clés : acrididae; cycle de développement; développement biologique; conformation animale; Écologie animale; languedoc-roussillon; arcyptera brevipennis

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