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Morphology of trophic eggs and ovarian dynamics in the subsocial bug Adomerus triguttulus (Heteroptera: Cydnidae)

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In the subsocial burrower bug, Adomerus triguttulus (Motschulsky, 1886), females produce trophic eggs, which are inviable and serve as a food supply for hatched nymphs, and add them onto egg masses during maternal care. Trophic eggs are expected to be less costly for females to produce and for offspring to consume than viable eggs. Such specialization may be reflected in the size, structure, and developmental process of the eggs. Inviable trophic eggs were smaller than viable eggs, and the intraclutch size variation of the former was larger than that of the latter. The viable eggs always had approximately five micropylar processes at a pole, whereas the trophic eggs mostly lacked them. Active oogenesis was maintained during the maternal egg care period; oocyte development continued after the deposition of viable eggs and declined close to the hatching time of the clutches. Mature chorionated eggs were consistently observed in ovaries. It is strongly suggested that at least some trophic eggs contained in clutches at hatching are those that have matured and been deposited during the maternal care of eggs. We discuss possible selective factors leading to the specialization of these unusual heteropteran trophic eggs and the ecological significance of their ovarian dynamics.

Chez la punaise mineuse subsociale Adomerus triguttulus (Motschulsky, 1886) (Heteroptera : Cydnidae), les femelles produisent des oeufs trophiques non viables qui servent de ressource alimentaire aux larves nouvellement écloses; les femelles les ajoutent aux masses d'œufs lors des soins maternels. Les oeufs trophiques sont reconnus comme moins coûteux à produire par les femelles et à consommer par les rejetons que des oeufs viables. Cette spécialisation peut se refléter dans la taille, la structure et le processus de développement des oeufs. La taille des oeufs trophiques non viables est plus petite et leur variation de taille dans une même masse d’oeufs plus grande que celle des oeufs viables. Les oeufs viables possèdent toujours à l'un des pôles environ cinq structures en micropyle, alors que la plupart des oeufs trophiques n'en ont pas. L'ovogenèse active se continue durant la période de soins maternels des oeufs; le développement des oocytes se poursuit après la ponte des oeufs viables et diminue près de la période de l'éclosion des oeufs. Il y a constamment des oeufs chorionés matures dans les ovaires. Nous sommes fermement convaincus qu'au moins certains des oeufs trophiques présents dans les masses d'œufs au moment de l'éclosion sont ceux qui se sont développés et qui ont été pondus durant la période de soins maternels des oeufs. Nous discutons des facteurs possibles de sélection qui mènent à la spécialisation de ces oeufs trophiques inhabituels chez les hétéroptères et de la signification écologique d'une telle dynamique ovarienne.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-05-01

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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