Eur. J. Entomol. 111 (3): 341-347, 2014 | 10.14411/eje.2014.053

Reproductive performance of Propylea japonica (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) under various light intensities, wavelengths and photoperiods

Su WANG1, Kun WANG1,2, J.P. MICHAUD3,*, Fan ZHANG1, Xiao-Ling TAN1
1 Institute of Plant and Environment Protection, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Beijing, China
2 College of Plant Protection, China Agriculture University, Beijing, China
3 Department of Entomology, Agricultural Research Center-Hays, 1232 240th Ave., Hays, Kansas, 67601, USA; e-mail: jpmi@ksu.edu

Cocccinellid beetles are largely diurnal species that are known to utilize visual cues in foraging and reproduction and to respond in specific ways to various light conditions. The present study evaluated the mating behavior and reproductive performance of Propylea japonica (Thunberg), a species indigenous to Asia, under various conditions of light intensity, photoperiod, and wavelength. Video-recording was used to continuously observe mating pairs for 24 h and a night vision system was employed to record nocturnal activity. Subsequently, males were removed and eggs were collected from females for 10 days and held under the same photic conditions to determine their fertility. The frequency and duration of copula varied among photic regimes in all experiments and tended to be negatively correlated, but more copulations occurred in photophase than in scotophase. White light at 1500 lux yielded higher egg production when compared to other light intensities, but egg fertility was higher at lower light intensities and highest in complete darkness, a result inferred to reflect egg sensitivity to light. Both fecundity and fertility were greater when 1500 lux white light was provided in a 16L : 8D photoperiod compared to shorter days. Green light yielded the highest net fertility compared to other wavelengths. A scheme is proposed to optimize photic conditions for reproductive adults of P. japonica and their eggs in colonies mass-reared for biological control applications.

Keywords: Coleoptera, Coccinellidae, Propylea japonica, copulation, fecundity, fertility, light intensity, wavelength, photoperiod

Received: March 17, 2014; Accepted: April 28, 2014; Prepublished online: May 27, 2014; Published: July 14, 2014

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