Overwintering fertilized adults and bias sex ratios: New aspects of the life history of Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae)

Monday, November 17, 2014: 10:24 AM
A106 (Oregon Convention Center)
Julian Golec , Entomology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Xing Ping Hu , Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Overwintering male and female Megacopta cribraria were dissected throughout their quiescence to determine the status of their reproductive organs. Results from an overwintering population of females (n=46) collected in March 2013 showed about 48% were storing sperm in their spermatheca. A follow up study was conducted from later September 2013 to March 2014. Groups of approximately 40 overwintering adult males and females were dissected weekly. Results indicated that 14% of females (n=555) were storing sperm, a proportion lower than that observed in spring of 2013. Furthermore all the males (n=486) were found to be storing sperm. This study indicates that both males and females are capable of reproductive quiescence. Additionally the overwintering generation had a male-to-female ratio of 1: 1.84. The biological importance of this reproductive strategy is discussed.