Age-Stage, two-sex life table: an introduction to theory, data analysis, and application

Chi H., You M., Atlıhan R. , Smith C. L. , Kavousi A., Özgökçe M. S. , ...More

ENTOMOLOGIA GENERALIS, vol.40, no.2, pp.103-124, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1127/entomologia/2020/0936
  • Title of Journal : ENTOMOLOGIA GENERALIS
  • Page Numbers: pp.103-124


The life table is a type of research tool that is frequently used in many studies involving population and community ecology. They are the basis for many comprehensive studies in pest management, pesticide resistance, predator-prey relationships, biological control, mass-rearing and harvesting of insects, plant resistance, etc. Because the morphology, physiology, survival, fecundity, and predation/consumption rate of most arthropods will vary significantly depending on their developmental stage and sex, precise description of stage differentiation and inclusion of both sexes are critical for attaining realistic and accurate life table analyses and correctly evaluating the overall fitness of populations. Since traditional female age-specific life tables ignore the male individuals in a population and are incapable of describing the unique and important feature of stage differentiation (i.e., metamorphosis) that is a defining characteristic of insects and mites, their application to data analysis involving these groups will inevitably result in miscalculations and limit the practical application of these life tables. On the other hand, the age-stage, two-sex life table (hereafter referred to as the two-sex life table whenever appropriate), can precisely delineate stage differentiation and includes both sexes in data analysis, description, and interpretation, and in practical applications. In this review, the problems of female age-specific life tables are examined, followed by a discussion of the advantages of using the two-sex life table. Finally, applications of the two-sex life table in various types of entomological research are discussed and accompanied by examples.