Effects of the juvenile hormone mimic pyriproxyfen on female reproduction and longevity in the butterfly Bicyclus anynana


Marc J. Steigenga, Bayreuth University, Department of Animal Ecology I, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany. Email: marc.steigenga@uni-bayreuth.de


Female Bicyclus anynana butterflies given pyriproxyfen, a mimic of juvenile hormone, exhibited increased egg-laying rates and early fecundity, but reduced longevity compared with control animals. Thus, pyriproxyfen application yielded antagonistic effects on different components of fitness, possibly demonstrating a juvenile hormone-mediated trade-off between present and future reproduction. Lifetime fecundity and egg size, however, showed no consistent response to pyriproxyfen, with lifetime fecundity being increased or decreased and egg size being reduced in one out of four experiments only. Females were most sensitive to pyriproxyfen around the onset of oviposition, coinciding with naturally increasing juvenile hormone titers in other Lepidoptera. Amounts between 1 and 10 µg pyriproxyfen were found to be effective, with, however, pronounced differences among experiments. This is attributed to differences in assay conditions. High pyriproxyfen concentrations (100 µg) as well as repeated applications of smaller amounts did not affect reproductive traits, but tended to reduce longevity.