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J Insect Physiol. 1999 Apr;45(4):385-392.

Reproductive performance and longevity of female European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis: effects of multiple mating, delay in mating, and adult feeding.

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  • 1Department of Entomology, Iowa State University, Ames, USA


In a recent study on the pheromone-mating disruption of the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), we recorded a significant reduction in mating frequency, as well as a marked delay in mating in feral females captured in disruptant-treated fields. In order to be able to accurately interpret the results in terms of effective population control, the current study was undertaken on the effects of multiple matings and a delay in mating on reproductive performance. Female O. nubilalis that mated at least twice had significantly higher fecundity and fertility, compared with once-mated females. In addition, multiple-mated females deposited a significantly larger portion of their egg complement, relative to single-mated or unmated females. Females that experienced a 3-day delay in mating showed a significant reduction in fecundity compared with females that mated soon after emergence. A 1-week delay in mating resulted in a further reduction in fecundity and a near zero fertility. The effect of sugar feeding on reproduction was not significant. In general, unmated females lived longer than mated females, and sugar-fed mated females had a higher longevity than water-fed mated females.

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