Curious Oviposition Behavior in Phyllium westwoodii (Phasmatodea: Phylliidae): Preliminary Observations.
Bottom Line: We report that in a leaf insect, Phyllium westwoodii Wood-Mason (Phasmatodea: Phylliidae), two differing apertures can be used for oviposition, the color of eggs being affected by which aperture is used.Eggs which are forcibly propelled from the internal space within the valvulae of the abdomen are brown, whereas white eggs emerge slowly from the opening between the eighth sternite and the valvulae, and are deposited close to the ventral surface of the female.This unusual oviposition system does not appear to have been previously reported in phasmatids or in other insects.
Affiliation: Shirayuri Gakuen Junior High School, 2-4-1 Kudanshita, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0073, Japan.Show MeSH
Mentions: Unmated female P. westwoodii clasped an oviposited egg using the two pairs of valvulae (anterior and posterior) and held it for a short time (Fig. 2A) before swiftly ejecting it away from the body by means of a 360-degree roll of the abdomen. Eggs were propelled to distances of up to 2 m (152.3 ± 78.7 cm, mean ± SD, n = 10 [one female]). The females continued to propel eggs away from the valvulae almost daily. The parthenogenetic eggs were blackish brown and cuboidal with rounded edges (4.0 by 2.2 by 2.5 mm, length by width by height on average, n = 10).Fig. 2.
Affiliation: Shirayuri Gakuen Junior High School, 2-4-1 Kudanshita, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0073, Japan.