Copulation, the dynamics of sperm transfer and female refractoriness in the leafhopper Balclutha incisa (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Deltocephalinae)

Win Bailey, M. Nuhardiyati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mature sperm of the leafhopper Balclutha incisa (Matsumara) (Cicadellidae: Auchenorrhyncha: Hemiptera) are stored as a series of sperm bundles within seminal vesicles prior to ejaculation. During transfer, sperm are pumped from the vesicles into the ejaculatory duct to the complex aedeagus. Sperm transfer is marked by a c. 30-fold expansion of the spermatheca to accommodate both sperm and seminal fluid. Sperm number increases exponentially with male age, reaching a maximum of 700 000 after 14 days, while the number of sperm available on days 2-5 is between 70 000 and 100 000. During mating, maximum sperm transfer occurs after 7 min and mating is complete after about 10 min. Ejaculate size, defined by both sperm and associated accessory gland fluid, is influenced by male mating status and the interval since the previous mating. There is a positive correlation between duration of copulation and both ejaculate and the time to subsequent mating. Sperm are more likely to be retained in the testes during mating by males of 2-5 days post-emergence than older males. The number of sperm received by the female can be manipulated experimentally by mating males once (medium ejaculate) or twice (small ejaculate) immediately after their first mating. Females that receive small ejaculates from sperm-depleted males have a far shorter refractory period than females receiving medium to large ejaculates. Both ejaculate size and the time after males have mated influence the female post-mating refractory period as measured by the female's responsiveness to male sexual signalling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-352
JournalPhysiological Entomology
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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