Life history of Oplostomus haroldi (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) under laboratory conditions and a description of its third instar larva

  • Ayuka T. FombongEmail author
  • Fabian Haas
  • Paul N. Ndegwa
  • Lucy W. Irungu
Research Paper


The life history of Oplostomus haroldi (Witte), a recently reported pest of honeybee colonies in East Africa, was studied for the first time under laboratory conditions. Adult O. haroldi collected from beehives in the coastal part of Kenya were reared on a mixture of moist sterilized soil and cow dung. At 25 ± 2 °C, 50 ± 5% relative humidity and a 10h light-14h dark photoperiod, the laid eggs took 11.9 ±1.3 days to hatch into a curved pear-shaped scarabaeiform larva with a well-developed head and thoracic legs. The first, second and third larval instars lasted 14.6 ± 2.6, 17.5 ± 2.4 and 34.6 ± 2.4 days, respectively. The pupal stage, which was marked by formation of a mud cocoon, lasted 31.1 ± 6.7 days with the adults surviving for 2–6 months under laboratory conditions, suggesting that the beetle is multivoltine. A detailed taxonomic description of the external morphology of the third instar larva is provided.

Key words

Oplostomus haroldi life history third instar larva morphology honeybee multivoltine insect Kenya 


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Copyright information

© ICIPE 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ayuka T. Fombong
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Fabian Haas
    • 1
  • Paul N. Ndegwa
    • 2
  • Lucy W. Irungu
    • 2
  1. 1.International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe)NairobiKenya
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of NairobiNairobiKenya

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