• Cimex hemipterus;
  • cast exoskeleton;
  • egg incubation;
  • fecundity;
  • longevity;
  • nymphal development;
  • oviposition;
  • preoviposition

This study examined the fecundity, oviposition, nymphal development and longevity of field-collected samples of the tropical bedbug, Cimex hemipterus (Fabricius) (Hemiptera: Cimicidae). Under environmental conditions of 26±2°C, 70 ± 5% relative humidity and a 12-h photoperiod, with bloodmeals provided by a human host, six strains of tropical bedbug had a fecundity of up to 50 eggs per lifetime, over 11–14 oviposition cycles. Increased feeding frequency improved fecundity. After feeding and mating, adult females normally took 2–3 days to produce a first batch of eggs. The oviposition period lasted 2–7 days before cessation of the oviposition cycle. The egg incubation period usually lasted 5–7 days before the emergence of first instars. The nymphs underwent five stadia (the first four of which each took 3–4 days, whereas the last took 4–5 days) before becoming adults at a sex ratio of 1 : 1. More than five bloodmeals were required by the nymphs to ensure a successful moult. Unmated adults lived significantly longer than mated adults (P < 0.05). Unmated females lived up to almost 7 months, but the longevity of mated males and females did not differ significantly (P > 0.05).