Significance of prolonged copulation under the restriction of daily reproductive time in the stink bug Megacopta punctatissima (heteroptera: plataspidae)

Takahiro Hosokawa, Nobuhiko Suzuki

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Copulation duration and daily reproductive activity pattern of the stink bug Megacopta punctatissima Montandon were investigated in the laboratory and the field. Mean copulation duration was >10 h regardless of sex ratio and few copulations continued for more than 24 h in the laboratory. In the field, mating aggregations and copulations were found from 1400 to 1000 hours on the next day, but bugs tended not to copulate from 1000 to 1400 hours. This daily reproductive activity pattern seemed to restrict the copulation duration to about 24 h at the longest. Sperm transfer from a male to a female spermatheca was complete within 2-4 h. Thus, it appears that copulations over 4 h serve as postcopulatory mate guarding. However, copulations did not always continue until pviposition because female oviposited after about a 7-d interval. Our findings suggest the possibility that prolonged copulations that do not continue until oviposition may also function as postcopulatory mate guarding within daily reproductive time. Alternative hypotheses, such as copulatory courship, for prolonged copulation of M. punctatissisma are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-754
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of the Entomological Society of America
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2001


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Insect Science

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