Biology and reproductive behavior of Murgantia histrionica (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2008
Authors:D. K. Zahn, Girling, R. D., McElfresh, S. J., Carde, R. T., Millar, J. G.
Journal:Annals of the Entomological Society of America

Life history parameters and reproductive behaviors of the harlequin bug, <I>Murgantia histrionica</I> Hahn (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae), were determined. Total developmental time from egg to adult was &#8776;48 d. After a sexual maturation period of &#8776;7 d, both sexes mated repeatedly, with females laying multiple egg masses of 12 eggs at intervals of 3 d. Adult females lived an average of 41 d, whereas adult males lived an average of 25 d. Courtship and copulation activities peaked in the middle of the photophase. In mating experiments in which mixed sex pairs of virgin and previously mated bugs were combined in all possible combinations, the durations of courtship and copulation by virgin males were significantly longer with both virgin and previously mated females than the same behaviors for previously mated males. When given a choice between a virgin or previously mated female, previously mated males preferred to mate with virgin females, whereas virgin males showed no preference for virgin over previously mated females. Analyses of mating behaviors with ethograms and behavioral transition matrices suggested that a primary reason for failure to copulate by virgin males was the incorrect rotation of their pygophores to the copulation position, so that successful alignment of the genitalia could not occur.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith