Relationships between larval density, adult size and egg production in the cowpea seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus

Author: Credland, P.F.; Dick, K.M.; Wright, A.W.

Description: 1. The eggs of the cowpea seed bettle Callosobruchus maculatus (Fab.) are attached to cowpeas. On hatching, the larvae penetrate the testa and remain in the seed until development is complete and adult eclosion has occurred. The adults do not need to feed and were not allowed to do so.
2. Strains from Brazil and Nigeria can produce more than twelve adults from a seed bearing numerous eggs, whereas a strain from the Yemen Republic rarely produced more than three.
3. In all three strains the mean weight of the adults produced from a single cowpea declined with increasing initial larval density in the seed.
4. Egg production by females is positively correlated with their weight at the time of mating, shortly after emergence.
5. Lifetime egg production by females of the Brazilian and Nigerian strains was lower if they came from cowpeas with higher initial larval densities. No such relationship could be demonstrated in the Yemen strain.
6. The fecundity of one generation of these beetles, at least in some geographical strains, is significantly affected by the number of larvae entering the hosts in which the adults of that generation have developed.

Subject headings: Beetle; Cowpeas; Adult eclosion; Callosobruchus maculatus; Egg production; Size; Larval density

Publication year: 1986

Journal or book title: Ecological Entomology

Volume: 11

Issue: 1

Pages: 41-50

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Type: Journal Article

Serial number: 2134