Age-Related Changes in the Rate of Oviposition of Three Species of Hippelates (Diptera: Chloropidae) Eye Gnats: Experimental and Mathematical Analysis

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The mean number of eggs laid per female in cohorts of Hippelates pusio Loew, H. bishoppi Sabrosky, and H. pallipes (Loew) were 120.9, 76.7, and 59.8, respectively. Insects of the 3 species deprived of proteinaceous diet 7 h after their emergence and given only 10% sucrose solution laid only 16.7, 16.8, and 15.9 eggs per female, respectively. Shorter adult life spans and lower daily rates of egg laying contributed to the observed reduction.

The daily oviposition rate increased rapidly during the first 5–7 days of cohort's age and declined gradually afterwards. Gamma distribution functions described the data. This common type of oviposition trend was shown to be an artifact of pooling the records from different females having large variance in preovipositional time.

Individual records from 45 pairs of H. pusio revealed oviposition occurred in distinct gonotrophic cycles. The mean number of eggs per live female declined exponentially with the physiological age of females. The mean number of gonotrophic cycles per female was 9.93, with a mean gonotrophic cycle length of 3.23 days. An indirect probabilistic method was developed for estimating the duration of the oviposition phase of a gonotrophic cycle. The greater the number of eggs per batch, the longer the oviposition phase, with an asymptote of approximately 11 h.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 15, 1974

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