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Laboratory Mating Behavior of the Plum Curculio1,2

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Studies were conducted to determine the mating' behavior of Conotrachelus nenuphar (Herbst) in the laboratory. Combinations of aged and young adult curculios were found to mate as young as 6 days old; a single female mated at the age of 5 days. Males were capable of inseminating mature sperm at this early age, but the females did not oviposit fertile eggs until 8 days old.

Males were shown to mate with as many as 16 different females by the time they were 30 days old. The average number of matings per male in a 30-day period was 10.4. Both virgin and non-virgin males were found to mate with more than I female in a 24-hr period. These females all produced large numbers of viable eggs. A single virgin male mated with 4 females in I day, and a single non-virgin male mated with 2 females in I day. The 1st as well as subsequent matings were responsible for large numbers of fertile eggs being produced.

Females which had mated I, 2, or 3 times were obtained by observing each mating. The average sperm content per female increased as the number of matings increased, although females that had mated only once produced what many workers have considered to be the average number of eggs per female. Females that mated 2 or 3 times produced more eggs during their lifespan than did those that mated only once.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1969

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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