Young Black Soldier Flies Have More Sex

Not the most unexpected finding, but it is nice that somebody put an effort into documenting this.

Dickerson, A.J., Lemke, N.B., Li, C. and Tomberlin, J.K., 2024. Impact of age on the reproductive output of Hermetia illucens (Diptera: Stratiomyidae). Journal of Economic Entomology, toae107

The current study examined the impact of adult black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens (L.)), age on reproductive output. Four treatments consisting of an equal sex ratio of the following combinations were used: 2-day-old males with 2-day-old females (YMYF); 6-day-old males with 2-day-old females (OMYF); 2-day-old males with 6-day-old females (YMOF); 6-day-old males with 6-day-old females (OMOF). Adult age was a significant factor for the overall number of mating events observed, with YMYF having 2.2× more than YMOF and 2.7× more than OMOF. Time was a significant factor in the number of mating events observed, with 97.8% observed on days 2–6. Age was not a significant factor for the total number of oviposition events, but the inclusion of time as a factor was significant, with 91.5% of all events occurring on days 2–6. Treatment and trial significantly interacted with egg production. This response can be attributed to treatments containing old females, which had a 50% variation in egg output across trials. Treatments containing young females were consistent in terms of egg production. As anticipated, due to oviposition events, 94.8% of total eggs were oviposited on days 2–6. Fecundity and egg hatch were also significantly impacted by female age, with a 50% reduction in both cases across trials occurring in old females. Young females paired with old males had a 20% reduction in egg hatch, but this difference was not statistically significant.