Spore consumption and life history of Zearagytodes maculifer (Broun) (Coleoptera: Leiodidae) on Ganoderma, its fungal host
- School of Biological Sciences, Tamaki Campus, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
- New Zealand Arthropod Collection, Landcare Research, Auckland, New Zealand
Spore consumption and aspects of the life history of Zearagytodes maculifer (Coleoptera: Leiodidae) were studied on the bracket fungi Ganoderma cf. applanatum and G. australe in the Waitakere Ranges, New Zealand. Eggs, the four larval instars and their duration are described. The 25-day development time found (egg to adult) is short compared with other mycophagous beetles inhabiting bracket fungi. Numbers of larvae and adult beetles found on hosts were only weakly associated with season, and both larvae and adults were active in winter. Rate of spore consumption did not depend on larval instar, or which fungal species was host. However, fewer larvae and adult beetles were found per sporocarp on G. australe, whose ingested spores appeared to be less easily broken. The impact of Z. maculifer on host fitness appeared to be neutral as larvae consumed a very small proportion of discharged spores.