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Keywords:

  • Callosobruchus;
  • bean weevil;
  • egg maturation;
  • oviducts;
  • oviposition

Abstract. This paper concerns the effects of mate and seed availability on the rate of egg maturation in the bean weevil Callosobruchus maculatus (F.). Egg maturation starts before emergence from the seed and, provided that both oviposition sites and mates are available, eggs are laid at a rate determined by the number of oviposition sites, and mature at a similar rate. If seeds or mates are absent then a small number of eggs are laid, but oocytes continue to mature until the oviduct-capacity is approached. The number of eggs that a female can store is dependent on her body weight and does not correlate with the number of ovarioles. If, after a period in which oocyte development has been halted, conditions for egg-laying become suitable, then egg maturation can be re-started, but only after the oviducts have been emptied of eggs. The rate of egg maturation is then similar to that for females of the same age which have been maturing eggs since emergence.