Biology, Pest Status, Microbiome and Control of Kudzu Bug (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Plataspidae): A New Invasive Pest in the U.S.
Prewinter copulation, sperm storage, and oocyte development in overwintering adult Megacopta cribraria (F.) was examined in Alabama (Lee Co.). Microscopic examinations of the spermathecae and ovaries were made in females and of the testes in males that were collected approximately weekly from September 2013 through March 2014. The results indicated that approximately 15% of females mated before entering winter dormancy and sperm was stored in their spermatheca for up to seven months, oocytes in mated overwintering females proceeded to postblastoderm stage before the onset of spring feeding and mating in March, all of the overwintering males had sperm in their testes, and the ratio of females gradually increased in populations during overwintering. This study indicates that both males and females are capable of reproductive dormancy. The biological significance of these life cycle aspects is discussed from the viewpoints of invasiveness and adaptation.