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The influence of age on reproductive performance of the predatory ladybird beetle, Propylea dissecta

Author(s): Ahmad Pervez | Omkar | Aaron S. Richmond

Journal: Journal of Insect Science
ISSN 1536-2442

Volume: 4;
Start page: 22;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: age | mating duration | fecundity | egg viability | aphid | Aphis gossypii

The influence of age on reproductive performance of an aphidophagous ladybird beetle, Propylea dissecta was examined using male and female beetles of varying ages (1-30 days) after a single mating stimulus. All the intermediate (10 to 20 days old) and old (30 days old) age females mated with all intermediate and old age males, while only a fraction (0.29%) of younger females, 1 to 5 days old, mated with males of similar or older age. The willingness to mate was male age dependent. It increased sigmoidally with increase in adult age. Adult males were more willing to mate with females irrespective of age. Mating duration was longest amongst older adults (30 day-old males and 20 day-old females). Male age did not contribute to shaping the fecundity of the female ladybird. Fecundity was female age dependent and it increased with age up to 20 days and thereafter decreased. 20 day-old females were most fecund producing 867 eggs after a single mating. Progeny production was male age dependent and eggs sired by 20-30 day-old males had significantly higher viability than those sired by younger males. Prolonged mating increased fecundity and egg viability. The results reveal that males of intermediate age were better mates. This information may improve our understanding of the effect of aging on reproduction in ladybirds and may help mass-multiplication of the ladybird beetles using adults of optimal age.
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