|Isolation cage in shade house|
After returning from our holiday trip to the USA, I saw that one of the isolation cages (cage C) had more flea beetle adults than expected: I had put 9 Parchicola DF1 adults (Black-legged Yellow or YBL for short) in the cage but now had 10. Other cages had good survival over the 6-8 week interval, but even 100% survival could not account for this result. I reasoned that the beetles had successfully reproduced in that cage. The cages are kept in a "shadehouse," the equivalent of a greenhouse here at La Selva. Here, the only danger to potted plants outdoors is too much heat from the sun and herbivores such as leafcutter ants. In a shade house, porous cloth is used to exclude herbivores and about 70% of sunlight. This creates a good balance between sunlight for growth and reducing heat build up. Rain goes right through the cloth so watering is usually not an issue unless there is a dry period.
|Black-legged Yellow flea beetle egg, <1mm long|
|Black-legged Yellow flea beetle larva.|
|Larvae feeding on Passiflora stem tissue|
|Black-legged Yellow flea beetle pupa|
|Black-legged Yellow flea beetle adult|