Reproductive biology of Lygus hesperus Knight: II. Biology of the lygus bug sex pheromone
AuthorsFrank E. Strong
J. A. Sheldahl
P. R. Hughes
Esmat M. K. Hussein
Authors AffiliationsFrank E. Strong was Associate Professor and Associate Entomologist in the Experiment Station, Davis; J. A. Sheldahl was graduate Research Assistants, Department of Entomology, Davis; P. R. Hughes was graduate Research Assistants, Department of Entomology, Davis; Esmat M. K. Hussein was a former graduate student, Department of Entomology, Davis, and is now Assistant Professor of Entomology, Alexandria University, Cairo, U. A. R.
Hilgardia 40(4):123-133. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v40n04p123. February 1970.
Studies on the reproduction biology of Lygus hesperus demonstrated that most adults first mated when they were 8 days old. The mating act lasted about 2½ minutes. Males could mate once per day for 6 consecutive days, but females only mated three times at 6-day intervals. One mating enables a female to oviposite viable eggs for the remainder of her life, which lasted an average of 38 days.
Virgin females began to produce a male-attracting sex pheromone as eggs matured within her ovaries; this first occurred when the adult female was about 6 days old. Pheromone release ceased immediately after mating, but was reinitiated 6 days later. In the fall, when the bugs entered diapause (characterized by atrophied ovaries) the pheromone was not released until diapause was terminated. During the period of diapause, males did not respond to the sex pheromone.
L. hesperus can be sterilized effectively by exposing the males to 5,000 rads of gamma radiation. Increased exposures affects the mating behavior by reducing male aggressiveness. The offspring from irradiated parents inherited a high degree of sterility; thus, a large proportion of the F2 generation was sterile.