Aspects of Sorghum Shootfly Reproduction

  • G. C. Unnithan


This paper includes a description of the internal reproductive system of the female sorghum shootfly, Atherigona soccata, as well as studies on egg maturation and survival, and effects of mating and/or presence of the male on egg maturation, fecundity and fertility. The number of ovarioles per female ranged from 20 to 47. A. soccata exhibits autogeny, but carbohydrate is essential for egg production and survival. Nutritional deficiency led to a high incidence of oocyte resorption. A mixture of baker’s yeast and sugar was a better adult food than brewer’s yeast and glucose. Sorghum (cereal) aphid honeydew was a nutritious adult food. Shootflies provided with sorghum aphid honeydew showed an acceleration of vitellogenesis, a decrease in the frequency of oocyte resorption and a shortening of the preoviposition period. Egg maturation does not seem to be influenced directly by mating or by the presence of males. The continuous presence of the male also has no significant effect on fecundity. Shootfly females seem to mate only once and this single mating ensures fertilization of eggs laid even long after mating.

Key Words

Atherigona soccata autogeny egg maturation fecundity honeydew oocyte resorption reproductive system sorghum shootfly 


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Copyright information

© ICIPE 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. C. Unnithan
    • 1
  1. 1.International Centre of Insect Physiology and EcologyNairobiKenya

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