The they no longer require food or water and

The connection between Callosobruchus maculatus host discrimination and oviposition is of fundamental importance in understanding how animals develop and implement successful behaviors. The cowpea weevil, Callosobruchus maculatus, is able to make use of specific clues that allow them to be selective in oviposition (Horng 1997; Mitchell 1975). Oviposition preference in the Callosobruchus maculatus can be due to a large number of ecological reasons such as egg to bean ratio, host quantity or natal beans (Wasserman & Futuyma 1981; Mitchell 1975; Fox 1993). The cowpea weevil is a common pest that invades a variety of legumes. Female beetles are able to oviposit singly onto the outer coat of leguminous grains. Larvae hatch approximately four to five days later and burrow into the grain (Fox 1993; Tran & Credland 1995; Wasserman & Futuyma 1981). The larvae complete their development inside the grains feeding on the endosperm (Devi & Devi 2014). About 25-30 days after oviposition, the new generation of beetles will emerge. Once the beetles are fully developed and have emerged, they no longer require food or water and can begin mating. Approximately an hour after mating, female beetles are able to begin ovipositing onto their chosen grains. Adult beetles will die after the completion of mating and oviposition, thus bringing an end to their life cycle (Tran & Credland 1995).Organisms that are most successful would be expected to benefit from their specific line of oviposition behavior. This would include the oviposition of larvae onto resources that are most advantageous (Fox 1993; Horng 1997). The method in which cowpea weevils are able to choose a bean for oviposition is a critical factor in the survival of the larvae. Because larvae are limited to the single grain in which they were placed on, their survival is correlated with the characteristics of this grain (Mitchell 1975). Grains that provide a good source of food for growth and development would be more beneficial for the future success of an offspring. In contrast, a grain could also negatively affect a larva’s survival if it is of lesser quality or nutrition. Other environmental factors, such as size and kind of bean, can also influence the beetle’s oviposition choice (Mitchell 1975). Thus we would expect to see selective pressures that favor cowpea weevils that are able to employ a method of selective oviposition (Mitchell 1975).


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