Reproductive potential, longevity, life expectancy, and fertility life tables of Brontocoris tabidus (Signoret) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae), a predator of lepidopteran defoliators in eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.) plantations, were studied in the field. After a 50-d preoviposition period (emergence of adults to the deposition of the first egg mass), ovipositional activity of B. tabidus continued until females died at 160 d. Females laid an average of 4.2 eggs per day and 601.1 eggs in a lifetime. Gross and net reproductive rates were 216.7 and 75.8 females, respectively. Generation time was 146.1 d, the period for doubling the population was 23.4 d, intrinsic rate was 0.03, and finite population increase was 1.03. Number of females per generation increased at 33.4 times. Results from our field studies indicate that B. tabidus has greater potential reproduction, oviposition period, and longevity than was expected from previous laboratory experiments. This suggests that B. tabidus has potential as a biological control agent to limit economically damaging pests in eucalyptus plantations.
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Vol. 99 • No. 2