Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 755–769 | Cite as

Age- and density-related oviposition behavior of the European corn borer,Ostrinia nubilalis (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

  • Bradley F. Binder
  • James C. Robbins


Age-related oviposition patterns ofOstrinia nubilalis were studied at three population densities in the laboratory by releasing newly eclosed adults in wire-screened cages and analyzing their oviposition throughout the adult stage with digital analysis. Oviposition sequences of individual females depositing egg masses were documented on the third and seventh nights after eclosion with a video camcorder. During a sequence, a female produced an egg in an average time of 15 or 26 s on the third and seventh nights, respectively, and completed depositing an egg mass the size of 20–39 eggs in an average time of 316 and 525 s, respectively. Females were not easily disturbed during egg mass deposition and pulsated their abdomen before deposition of each egg. Females produced few egg masses the first night after eclosion. Oviposition increased on nights 2 and 3 but declined steadily thereafter as females matured. Females older than 6 nights produced fewer egg masses; the proportion of egg masses with fewer than 20 eggs increased gradually. By the end of the adults' lifetime, nearly 100% of the egg masses had fewer than 20 eggs. The data are fundamental to our research to define the role of phytochemicals in modifying oviposition behavior of the European corn borer.

Key Words

fecundity oviposition behavior egg masses eggs aging population density adult longevity 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bradley F. Binder
    • 1
    • 2
  • James C. Robbins
    • 1
  1. 1.USDA-ARS, Corn Insects Research Unit, Genetics LaboratoryIowa State UniversityAmes
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyIowa State UniversityAmes

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