Eur. J. Entomol. 110 (1): 115-121, 2013 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2013.016

Do long- and short-winged adult females of the bug Pyrrhocoris apterus (Heteroptera: Pyrrhocoridae) differ in lifespan and reproductive capacity?

Radomír SOCHA
Biology Centre ASCR, Institute of Entomology, Branišovská 31, CZ-370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic; e-mail: socha@entu.cas.cz

In the present study we tested whether long-winged (macropterous) and short-winged (brachypterous) adult females of the firebug Pyrrhocoris apterus (L.) differ in their reproductive capacity and length of life. The following seven physiological markers were measured in these females: lengths of the pre-oviposition period (pre-OP), inter-ovipositon period (inter-OP) and post-oviposition period (post-OP), and the mean number of eggs per batch, total number of eggs, mean total number of egg batches laid and lifespan of the females. The results showed that macropterous and brachypterous females significantly differed in the length of the pre-OP, which was significantly shorter in brachypterous (7.95 ± 1.75 days) than in macropterous females (26.84 ± 9.86 days), but there was no significant difference between the lengths of the inter-OP in brachypterous (4.00-8.79 days) and macropterous (3.00-9.89 days) females. In contrast the length of the post-OP was significantly longer in brachypterous (48.23 ± 30.95 days) than in macropterous females (35.02 ± 17.32 days). Except for the 2nd and 3rd egg batches there was no significant difference between the average numbers of eggs in the other egg batches laid by females of the two wing morphs. Total number of eggs laid by macropterous females during their whole lifespan was not significantly lower (326.47 ± 155.65 eggs) than by brachypterous females (382.82 ± 207.52 eggs), but associated with the lower number of egg batches laid by macropterous (13) than by brachypterous females (19). However, there was no significant difference in the longevity of brachypterous (95.43 ± 41.21 days) and macropterous (93.40 ± 21.18 days) females. The relationship of these results to the reproductive arrest, inactivity of the endocrine gland, corpus allatum, and different levels of adipokinetic hormone in macropterous females is discussed.

Keywords: Heteroptera, Pyrrhocoridae, Pyrrhocoris apterus, firebug, females, wing morphs, lifespan, reproductive capacity

Received: June 25, 2012; Accepted: July 18, 2012; Published: January 2, 2013

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