Neotropical Entomology

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 583–593 | Cite as

Spatial Analysis of Presence, Injury, and Economic Impact of the Melolonthidae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea) Complex in Avocado Crops

  • C Valencia Arias
  • A Martínez Osorio
  • J G Morales Osorio
  • J G Ramírez-GilEmail author
Ecology, Behavior and Bionomics


Beetle insect species classified within the Melolonthidae complex (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea) are a serious pest in several crops around the world including avocado (Persea americana Mill). The present work focused on determining the spatial behavior of the Melolonthidae complex of beetles and determined the economic impact in avocado crops in Antioquia, Colombia, South America. Beetle presence and damage produced in both foliage and fruits were quantified during 3 years for each avocado tree tested in two planted lots located in different places. The indexes of Cambardella, Morisita, and economic losses were calculated with data obtained. Our results strongly suggest that beetles present an isotropic movement in the lots with the damage beginning by the borders. Once insects enter the lots, they move in any direction inside the crop area with weak or moderate spatial dependence and low or null aggregation. Strong preference for fruits rather than foliage was observed. Economic analysis indicates that damage in fruit skin causes major losses. From observed results, it is proposed that integrated pest control should be directed mainly to fruits from the very early stages of growth and development and traps should be localized strategically and following the spatial and temporal distribution of insects for both prevention and control.


Cambardella index Morisita index Beetle spatial distribution Fruit losses in Persea americana 



We are very grateful to Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Medellín for partial funding and use of laboratory facilities, to John Albeiro Quiróz from the entomological museum at Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Medellín (MEFLG) for valuable help in the taxonomic identification of adult insects, and to the avocado producers for their help during the experiments.

Author Contributions

CVA conducted data analysis and wrote the first version, AMO conducted data analyses, JGMO wrote and reviewed the last version, and JGRG designed and executed experimental work, conducted data analyses, and wrote the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Depto de Ciencias Agronómicas, Facultad de Ciencias AgrariasUniv Nacional de Colombia sede MedellínMedellínColombia
  2. 2.Facultad de MinasUniv Nacional de Colombia, sede MedellínMedellínColombia
  3. 3.Depto de Agronomía, Facultad de Ciencias AgrariasUniv Nacional de Colombia sede BogotáBogotáColombia

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