• Samuel Matos Antunes Novais Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Graziela França Monteiro Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Luiz Eduardo Macedo-Reis Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Camila Rabelo Oliveira Leal Universidade Estadual de Campinas
  • Frederico de Siqueira Neves Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais



dry-wet transition, insect seasonality, phenological synchrony, protected areas


Tropical dry forests are characterized by a pronounced dry season, when most trees shed their leaves, and a rainy season characterized by the production of new leaves. This study aimed to determine the effect of the first rains at the beginning of the rainy season on the insect herbivore fauna. We sampled 90 trees at the end of the dry season and 60 trees six days after the first rains using an entomological umbrella. Species richness and abundance of insect herbivores per tree was higher after the first rains. The results suggest a high synchrony between leaf production at the onset of the rainy season and the increase in insect herbivore diversity. Because young leaves are rich in nutrients and have a lower concentration of carbon-based defenses, many herbivore species in seasonal environments have their life cycles highly adjusted to the phenology of their host trees. 

Author Biographies

Samuel Matos Antunes Novais, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Departamento de Biologia Geral, Laboratório de Ecologia de Insetos, Av. Pres. Antônio Carlos, n° 6627, CEP 31270-901, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.

Graziela França Monteiro, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Departamento de Biologia Geral, Laboratório de Ecologia Evolutiva e Biodiversidade, Av. Pres. Antônio Carlos, n° 6627, CEP 31270-901, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.

Luiz Eduardo Macedo-Reis, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Departamento de Biologia Geral, Laboratório de Ecologia de Insetos, Av. Pres. Antônio Carlos, n° 6627, CEP 31270-901, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.

Camila Rabelo Oliveira Leal, Universidade Estadual de Campinas

Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Departamento de Biologia Animal, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia, Cidade Universitária Zeferino Vaz, CEP 13083-970, Campinas, SP, Brazil.

Frederico de Siqueira Neves, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Departamento de Biologia Geral, Laboratório de Ecologia de Insetos, Av. Pres. Antônio Carlos, n° 6627, CEP 31270-901, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.


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