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Do golden egg bugs (Phyllomorpha laciniata: Heteroptera, Coreidae) require conspecifics for oviposition?


Do golden egg bugs (Phyllomorpha laciniata: Heteroptera, Coreidae) require conspecifics for oviposition?



Journal of Insect Behavior 15(2): 171-180



ISSN/ISBN: 0892-7553

DOI: 10.1023/a:1015480816110

Golden egg bug (Phyllomorpha laciniata) females lay eggs on the bodies of conspecifics of both sexes. We investigated to what extent reproduction depended on the availability of conspecifics as oviposition substrate and the acceptability of the host plant as an alternative oviposition substrate in the absence of conspecifics. Mated females were placed in experimental enclosures each containing a sprig of fresh host plant. Each experimental female was subjected to one of three treatments: isolated from conspecifics (solitary), paired with another female, or paired with a male. Solitary females laid a few eggs on the host plant but then stopped laying eggs, and solitary females laid significantly fewer eggs than those enclosed with another female or a male. Females enclosed with a male laid no more eggs than those enclosed with a female. When two previously isolated females were later enclosed together, they soon renewed oviposition. Females in nature contained significantly more oviducal eggs than did females that were enclosed with other females for a short period. Thus the availability of suitable conspecifics as oviposition substrate stimulates the deposition of mature eggs, and reproduction depends on the presence of conspecifics of either sex as oviposition substrate.

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Accession: 003717707

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