Mendel, Z., Protasov, A., Levi-Zada, A., Assael, F., Jasrotia, P., & Franco, J.C. 2008 Longevity and sexual maturity of an adult male mealybug.. Proceedings of the XI International Symposium on Scale Insect Studies, Oeiras, Portugal, 24-27 September 2007. ISA Press Lisbon, Portugal 322 pp.
Notes: The maturation of adult males of seven mealybug (Hemiptera; Pseudococcidae) species of the genera Planococcus, Pseudococcus and Nipaecoccus was studied at 24-25°C. The physiological age was measured in relation to the elongation of the male glandular pouch s tae, and longevity was considered to extend from emergence from the pupal webbing until death. Both physiological age and survival were monitored at 4-h intervals. Mean survival ranged from 56 h for Pl. vovae and Ps. longispinus to 80 h for Ps. viburni. The glandular pouch setae reached their maximum length between 29.4 h for Pl. vovae and 46.6 h for N. viridis. The overall mean (± SD) elongation time of the glandular pouch setae, expressed as a percentage of the total longevity, was 56.7± 3.5%. The duration of the sexual activity of the males was estimated according to their lifespan and physiological ages. Males of the studied species were divided into three groups of age according to time ranges after eclosion and the included proportions of their lifespan were expressed as percentages of the total glandular pouch setal length (Group I. 5-10 h and 10-20%; group II 16-24h, 40-60%; group III 48-60h, 100%). The males (20 per species per age group) were exposed in Petri dish arenas to: (i) the female sex pheromone (synthetic or crude solution; four species 'ere tested); and (ii) to virgin females (all seven species were tested). The average percentages f group I and group II males that responded to the pheromone sources were 25.4±10.7 and -S.9±19.4, respectively, relative to the total responses by group III males, which were designated as 100%. When the males were offered virgin females, only those of group III copulated successfully, i.e., 85.6± 6.3% of the total tested. Few of the younger males tested displayed courtship behaviour towards the virgin females: i.e. 1l.0±4.9% and 17.9±2.5% of e males of groups I and II, respectively. In conclusion, males may respond to the pheromone and to the presence of virgin female any age. However, mating (at 24-25°C) may occur as soon as the glandular pouch setae reach their maximum length, which took on average (for the seven tested species) about 30.5± 5.1 h.