The leafhoppers, Bothrogonia ferruginea (Homoptera: Cicadellidae), eclose to adults in summer with immature reproductive organs. The adults live for 10 months including a hibernation of 4 months. Overwintered females mate multiply in spring. Eggs develop rapidly and are laid continuously in this mating period. Males produce sperm-bundles in which sperm are attached in a row to a rope-like hyaline material, and transfer them to the female via a large spermatophore that is placed in her bursa copulatrix. After mating, sperm are separated and removed to a spermatheca for storage prior to fertilization, but the sperm-binding material (trypsin degradable proteins) and the spermatophore disappear in the bursa and an enlarged portion of the genital duct. An injection of rhodamine B-dyed proteins into the female bursa with a microsyringe results in the production of intensely fluorescent eggs developing in the ovaries. This suggests that females could incorporate proteinaceous material derived from male spermatophores and/or sperm-binding material into their oocytes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science