University of California

Reproductive biology of Lygus hesperus Knight: III. Modification of reproduction in Lygus hesperus


Frank E. Strong
J. A. Sheldahl
P. R. Hughes
Esmat M. K. Hussein

Authors Affiliations

Frank 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.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 40(4):133-147. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v40n04p133. February 1970.

PDF of full article, Cite this article


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.

Literature Cited

Addicott F. T., Romney V. E. Anatomical effects of lygus injury to guayule. Bot. Gaz. 1950. 112(1):133-34. DOI: 10.1086/335635 [CrossRef]

Auclair J. L., Raulston J. R. Feeding of Lygus hesperus (Hemiptera: Miridae) on a chemically defined diet. Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 1966. 59(5):1016-17.

Babson A. L. Eradicating the gypsy moth. Science. 1963. 142:447 DOI: 10.1126/science.142.3591.447-a [CrossRef]

Bacon O. G., Riley W. D., Zweig G. The influence of certain biological and environmental factors on insecticide tolerance of the lygus bug, Lygus hesperus. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1964. 57(2):225-30.

Baker K. F., Snyder W. C., Holland A. H. Lygus bug injury to lima beans in California. Phytopath. 1946. 36(3):493-503.

Baldwin W. F., Shaver E. L. Radiation-induced sterility in the insect Rhodnius prolixus. Can. Jour. Zool. 1963. 41:637-48. DOI: 10.1139/z63-036 [CrossRef]

Beards G. W., Leigh T. F. A laboratory rearing method for Lygus hesperus Knight. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1960. 53(2):327-28.

Beards G. W., Strong F. E. Photoperiod in relation to diapause in Lygus hesperus Knight. Hilgardia. 1966. 37(10):345-62. DOI: 10.3733/hilg.v37n10p345 [CrossRef]

Birch L. C. The intrinsic rate of natural increase of an insect population. Jour. Animal Ecology. 1948. 17:15-26. DOI: 10.2307/1605 [CrossRef]

Breland O. P. Studies on the chromosomes of mosquitoes. Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 1961. 54(3):360-75.

Butler G. O. The seasonal fluctuation of Lygus populations. Special Rep. 1968. USDA, ERD, Tucson Laboratory. 68p.

Calhoun J. B. Population density and social pathology. Sci. Amer. 1962. 206(2):139-48.

Carlson E. C. The effects of lygus and hyaline grass bug on lettuce seed production. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1959. 52(2):242-44.

Carlson E. C. Damage to safflower plants by thrips and lygus bugs and a study of their control. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1964. 57(1):140-45.

Champlain R. A., Butler G. D. Jr. Temperature effects on development of the egg and nymphal stages of Lygus hesperus (Hemiptera: Miridae). Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 1967. 60(3):519-21.

Clancy D. W. Distribution and parasitism of some Lygus spp. in Western United States and Central Mexico. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1968. 61(2):443-45.

Clancy D. W., Pierce H. D. Natural enemies of some lygus bugs. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1966. 59(4):853-58.

Cleveland M. L., Murdock L. L. Natural sex attractants of the lesser peach tree borer. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1964. 57(5):761-62.

Cogburn R. R., Tilton E. W., Burkholder W. E. Gross effects of gamma radiation on the Indian-meal moth and the angoumois grain moth. Jour. Econ. Entomol. 1966. 59(3):682-85.

Coppel H. C., Casida J. E., Dauterman W. C. Evidence for a potent sex attractant in the introduced pine sawfly Diprion similis (Hymenoptera: Diprionidae). Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 1960. 53(4):510-12.

Davis A. C., McEwen F. L., Robinson R. W. Preliminary studies on the effect of lygus bugs on the set and yield of tomatoes. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1963. 56(4):532-33.

Davis N. T. Morphology of the female organs of reproduction in Miridae (Hemiptera). Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 1955. 48(2):132-50.

Doane C. C. Evidence for a sex attractant in females of the red pine scale. J. Econ. Ent. 1966. 59(6):1539-40.

Flemion F., Ledbetter M. C., Kelly E. S. Penetration and damage of plant tissues during feeding by the tarnished plant bug (Lygus lincolaris). Contrib. Boyce Thompson Inst. 1954. 17:347-57.

Fujita H. An interpretation of the changes in type of population density effect upon oviposition rate. Ecology. 1954. 36(2):253-57. DOI: 10.2307/1931125 [CrossRef]

Gentry C. R., Lawson F. R., Hoffman J. D. A sex attractant in the tobacco budworm. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1964. 57(6):819-21.

Gravitz N., Willson C. A sex pheromone from the citrus mealybug. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1968. 61(5):1458-59.

Grosch D. S. Entomological aspects of radiation as related to genetics and physiology. Ann. Rev. Ent. 1962. 7:81-106. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.en.07.010162.000501 [CrossRef]

Halkka O. Chromosome studies on the Hemiptera Homoptera Anchenorrhyneha. Ann. Acad. Sci. Fenn. A. IV. 1959. 43:1-71.

Harcourt D. G. Major mortality factors in the population dynamics of the diamond-back moth, Plutella maculipennis (Curt.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae). Mem. Ent. Soc. Can. 1963. 32:55-66. DOI: 10.4039/entm9532055-1 [CrossRef]

Harcourt D. G., Cass L. M. Photoperiodism and fecundity in Plutella maculipennis (Curt.). Nature. 1966. 210(5032):217-18. DOI: 10.1038/210217a0 [CrossRef]

House H. L. Insect nutrition. Ann. Rev. Ent. 1961. 6:13-26. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.en.06.010161.000305 [CrossRef]

Hussein E. M. K. The effects of chemosterilants on Lygus hesperus Knight 1966. 1966 Ph.D. Thesis, University of Calif., Davis.

Jacobson M. Insect sex attractants. 1965. New York: Interscience Publishers. 154p.

Jacobson M. Chemical insect attractants and repellents. Ann. Rev. Ent. 1966. 11:403-22. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.en.11.010166.002155 [CrossRef]

Jeppson L. R., MacLeod G. F. Lygus bug injury and its effect on the growth of alfalfa. Hilgardia. 1946. 17(4):165-96. DOI: 10.3733/hilg.v17n04p165 [CrossRef]

King W. V., Cook W. S. Feeding punctures of Mirids and other plant-sucking insects and their effect on cotton. USDA Tech. Bul. 1932. 296:

LaBreque G. C. Principles of Insect Chemosterilization. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. 1968. 354:

LaChance L. E., Schmidt C. M., Bushland R. C., Kilgore W. W., Doutt R. L. Radiation-induced sterilization. Pest Control, Biological, Physical and Selected Chemical Methods. 1967. New York: Academic Press, Inc. p. 147-96.

Landes D. A., Strong F. E. Feeding and nutrition of Lygus hesperus (Hemiptera: Miridae) I. Survival of bugs fed on artificial diets. Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 1965. 58(3):306-09.

Laughlin R. Capacity for increase: a useful population statistic. Journ. Animal Ecol. 1965. 34:77-91. DOI: 10.2307/2370 [CrossRef]

Leigh T. F. Life history of Lygus hesperus (Hemiptera: Miridae) in the laboratory. Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 1963. 56(6):865-67.

Lewis M. A., Taylor L. R. Introduction to experimental ecology. 1967. London: Academic Press. 17p.

Lewontin R. C., Baker H. G., Stebbins G. L. Selection for colonizing ability. The Genetics of Colonizing Species. 1965. New York: Acad. Press. p. 77-94.

Lindquist R. K., Painter R. H., Sorenson E. L. Screening alfalfa seedlings for resistance to the tarnished plant bug. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1967. 60(5):1442-45.

McManus J. F. A., Mowry R. W. Staining methods. 1960. New York: Hoeber. 423p.

Marler P., Hamilton W. J. III. Mechanisms of animal behavior. 1966. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 771p.

Mash-Hoor M. A. Laboratory studies on oviposition and host preference of Lygus hesperus Knight (Hemiptera: Miridae) 1966. M.S. Thesis, University of California, Berkeley, 1966.

Nelson R. D. Effects of gamma radiation on the biology and population suppression of the two-spotted mite, Tetranchus urticae Koch 1968. Ph.D. Dissertation University of California, Davis.

North D. T., Holt G. G. Inherited sterility in progeny of irradiated male cabbage loopers. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1968a. 61(4):928-31.

North D. T., Holt G. G. Genetic and cytological basis of radiation-induced sterility in the adult male cabbage looper, Trichoplusia ni. Isotopes and Radiation in Entomology. 1968b. Vienna: Int. Atomic Energy Agency.

Parkes A. S., Bruce H. M. Olfactory stimuli in mammalian reproduction. Science. 1961. 134:1049-54. DOI: 10.1126/science.134.3485.1049 [CrossRef]

Proverbs M. D., Newton J. R. Some effects of gamma radiation on the reproductive potential of the codling moth, Carpocapsa pommella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Olethreutidae). Can. Ent. 1962. 94(11):1162-70. DOI: 10.4039/Ent941162-11 [CrossRef]

Rhodes R. H., Lopez D., Equista F., Telich J. Effect of gamma radiation on the reproductive potential of the Mexican fruit fly. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1961. 54(1):202-03.

Scales A. L. Female tarnished plant bugs attract males. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1968. 61(5):1466-67.

Schull W. E. An investigation of the Lygus species which are pests of beans (Hemiptera: Miridae). Idaho Agr. Exp. Sta. Res. Bul. 1933. 11:42

Schull W. E., Rice P. L., Cline H. F. Lygus hesperus Knight (Hemiptera: Miridae) in relation to plant growth, blossom drop, and seed set in alfalfa. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1934. 27(1):265-69.

Shorey H. H., Gaston L. K., Kilgore W. W., Doutt R. L. Pheromones, in Pest Control. 1967. New York: Academic Press. 477p.

Shorey H. H., McFarland S. U., Gaston L. K. Sex pheromones of noctuid moths XIII. Changes in pheromone quantity, as related to reproductive age and mating history, in females of seven species of Noctuidae (Lepidoptera). Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 1968. 61(2):372-76.

Slobodkin L. B. Growth and Regulation of Animal Populations. 1961. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 184p.

Sorenson C. J. Lygus hesperus Knight and Lygus elisus Van Duzee in relation to alfalfa seed production. Utah Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 1939. 284:61

Stern V. M., Mueller A. Techniques of marking insects with micronized fluorescent dust with especial emphasis on marking millions of Lygus hesperus for dispersal studies. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1968. 61(5):1232-37.

Stern V. M., van den Bosch R., Leigh T. F. Strip cutting alfalfa for lygus bug control. Calif. Agric. 1964. 18(4):4-6.

Stitt L. L. Three species of the genus Lygus and their relation to alfalfa seed production in southern Arizona and California. USDA Tech. Bul. 1940. 741:1-19.

Strong F. E., Kruitwagen E. Polygalacturonase in the salivary apparatus of Lygus hesperus (Hemiptera). Jour. Insect. Physiol. 1968. 14:1113-19. DOI: 10.1016/0022-1910(68)90050-4 [CrossRef]

Strong F. E., Kruitwagen E. Feeding and nutrition of Lygus hesperus III. Limited growth and development on a meridic diet. Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 1969. 62(1):148-55.

Strong F. E., Landes D. A. Feeding and nutrition of Lygus hesperus II. An estimation of normal feeding rates. Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 1965. 58:309-14.

Tashiro H., Chambers D. L. Reproduction in the California red scale, Aonidiella aurantii (Homoptera: Diaspididae). I. Discovery and extraction of a female sex pheromone. Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 1967. 60(6):1166-70.

Tashiro H., Moffitt C. Reproduction in the California red scale, Aonidiella aurantii II. Mating behavior and postinsemination female changes. Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 1968. 61(4):1014-20.

Vanderzant E. S. Rearing lygus bugs on artificial diets. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1967. 60(3):813-16.

Virkki N. Insect Gametogenesis as a target. Agricult. Science Rev. 3rd Qtr. 1965. pp.24-35.

Walker J. R., Brindley T. A. Effect of X-ray exposure on the European corn borer. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1963. 56(4):522-25.

Watt K. E. F. The effect of population density on fecundity in insects. Can. Ent. 1960. 92:674-95. DOI: 10.4039/Ent92674-9 [CrossRef]

Wright R. H. Insect control by nontoxic means. Science. 1964. 144:487

Strong F, Sheldahl J, Hughes P, Hussein E. 1970. Reproductive biology of Lygus hesperus Knight: III. Modification of reproduction in Lygus hesperus. Hilgardia 40(4):133-147. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v40n04p133
Webmaster Email: sjosterman@ucanr.edu