Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 June 2019
A trade-off is a relationship between two life history characteristics principally reproduction and adult longevity that are fundamental in predicting the optimal life history in any given environment. Mating is indispensable for sexual reproduction, but also can impose risks to females. Nevertheless, in the majority of insects, females allow multiple mating. Dichelops furcatus (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) is a pest of wheat and corn in Argentina and southern Brazil, but little is known about its reproduction (i.e., the characteristics of the process that results in offspring). We analyzed reproductive attributes of D. furcatus, and the effect of single mating vs. multiple matings, evaluating the trade-off between fecundity and adult female longevity. We found that mating is not required for D. furcatus to oviposit, and multiple copulations were costly in terms of reduced longevity. Although multicopulated females lived a shorter period, only the pre- and post-reproductive periods were shortened. Fecundity was not affected but fertility was incremented in multicopulated females. Females copulated only once oviposited most of the eggs in the first half of the reproductive period, while eggs oviposited in the second half were all inviable (did not hatch). Studying demographic attributes of phytophagous insects provides relevant information to better understand the population dynamics of pests.