Developmental and Reproductive Plasticity in the Kissing Bug Triatoma recurva (Hemiptera: Reduviidae)

Justin O. Schmidt, Patricia L. Dorn, Stephen A. Klotz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ABSTRACT: Kissing bugs, Triatoma recurva (Stål) (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae), live in an environment with high seasonal variability in rainfall, humidity, temperature, and food sources, and are an ideal organism for testing adaptive plasticity in rate of maturation to adult and in reproduction. Under simulated natural conditions, the effect of abundant, moderate, and infrequent feeding opportunities upon developmental rate, growth, and fecundity of the bugs was determined. Insects afforded frequent feeding opportunities matured to adult faster than those on lower frequency feeding diets. Insects on limited frequency feeding diets often delayed maturation until the second year of life and gained weight relative to those that matured in the first year. The females fed the least frequently and that delayed maturation until the second year doubled in weight relative to those maturing the year-earlier. In this species living near the climatic extremes of members of its genus, developmental and reproductive plasticity appear to be viable options to minimize the effects of catastrophes and reduce the possibility of local extinction during extreme environmental conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-23
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Kansas Entomological Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Chagas disease
  • Triatominae
  • developmental rate
  • fecundity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


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