Effects of feeding, mating, and starvation on oviposition and fertility in the bed bug, Cimex lectularius

Monday, November 17, 2014: 10:48 AM
B115-116 (Oregon Convention Center)
Yvonne Matos , Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Coby Schal , Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
In hematophagous insects, a blood meal is necessary for egg production, and the number of eggs produced can often be tied to the amount of blood a female consumes over time. Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) require both a blood meal and mating in order to oviposit viable eggs. However, more work needs to be done on the interaction of feeding, mating, and starvation and how each affects egg production. Recently eclosed virgin female bed bugs were fed and mated, and then exposed to different feeding regimes. Control females were fed every five days, and females in each experimental treatment were exposed to ten day starvation periods and then fed in three, two or one successive five day intervals between starvation periods over a span of 130 days. Females were re-mated on day 65. The number of eggs oviposited and hatched nymphs were counted for each five day period. Under different feeding regimes, the frequency and periodicity of egg production differed according to the number of times females were fed between starvation periods, but fertility for all groups remained similar. This suggests that fecundity in mated female bed bugs is closely tied to feeding, but fertility is more greatly affected by sperm quality.