Document Type

Peer-Review Article


Boxelder bug females emerged from overwintering sites in the spring and rapidly provisioned eggs with yolk materials. Five discrete egg stages were identified based on egg size, protein content, and degree of chorion sclerotization. Females did not accumulate yolk materials into the egg until after melanization was completed, as unmelanized animals rarely possessed even stage 2 eggs. All adult females entering overwintering sites possessed only immature stage eggs (stage 1 and 2). The rate of egg vitellogenesis in the spring was rapid; a major change in numbers of more mature stage eggs (stage 3 and above) in the ovary occurred within approximately 6 days. Most mating pairs recovered in the field (92%, 12/13) possessed ovaries full of eggs in stages 3, 4 or 5. The remaining female contained only immature eggs of stage 1 and 2. This finding indicates that fully provisioned ovaries are not an absolute requirement for mating to occur. The signals that initiate vitellogenesis and control the movement of materials from fat body into eggs are unknown for the boxelder bug.

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Entomology Commons