The solenopsis mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), is an aggressive pest threatening crops worldwide. The biology of P. solenopsis has been described in several studies, but detailed information on the reproduction of P. solenopsis has not been investigated. The results of our study showed: 1) no progeny could be produced by virgins; 2) apoptosis of follicle cells, which occurs when the eggs begin to develop, did not happen in virgins; and 3) oosorption occurred in the unfertilized eggs. This suggests that P. solenopsis is an obligate amphimictic species, and resorption of developed eggs fits the “wait to reproduce” oosorption hypothesis. Compared to females that mated when they were two days old, the females that mated 30 days after eclosion had lower reproductive output and longer adult lifespans, but had higher reproductive output and shorter lifespan than those of the unmated females. Such a phenomenon suggests that resources obtained from eggs can be allocated for survival until conditions for reproduction improve. The results of this study provide evidence for a trade-off between survival and future reproduction: delayed reproductive conditions trigger physiological states geared toward survival at the expense of reproduction. The mating history of the males had no effect on progeny production.
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