We studied the effects of maternal age on fitness of progeny in the rice weevil, Sitophilus oryzae L. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Five-, 20-, and 50-d-old female rice weevils were used to study the effects of maternal age on the lifetime fecundity and longevity of their daughters. In addition, we determined the effects of maternal age on the weight and survivorship of daughters’ progeny. Daughters of 5- and 20-d-old weevils lived longer, and the numbers and weights of the progeny of these daughters were higher than for daughters of 50-d-old weevils. Survivorship of immature grand-offspring of 5-, 20-, and 50-d-old female weevils was similar. None of the fitness characteristics of the daughters and grand-offspring of 5- and 20-d-old weevils that were measured differed significantly. We believe maternal age effects on rice weevil progeny fitness may at least partly be acting through maternal age effect on egg size. Individuals that developed from younger 5- and 20-d-old weevils had a greater fitness than those produced by older 50-d-old females. Our study shows maternal age is impacting life history parameters that influence population dynamics across generations. Therefore, maternal age could significantly affect population development and have far reaching implications for pest management and simulation modeling of rice weevil populations.
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