Define Voltinism

Discover the concept of voltinism and how it impacts the reproductive strategies of organisms. Learn the types of voltinism, examples, case studies, and statistics.

What is Voltinism?

Voltinism refers to the number of generations of a species that occur in a year. It is a term commonly used in biology, entomology, and ecology to describe the reproductive strategy of an organism.

Types of Voltinism:

  • Univoltine – one generation per year
  • Bivoltine – two generations per year
  • Trivoltine – three generations per year
  • Multi-voltine – more than three generations per year


For example, the monarch butterfly exhibits a multivoltine reproductive strategy with multiple generations in a year, while the periodical cicadas are known for their periodic, synchronized emergence every 13 or 17 years.

Case Studies:

A study on the human disease vector Aedes aegypti, the mosquito responsible for transmitting Zika and dengue fever, found that urban populations were bivoltine, while rural populations were multivoltine, impacting disease transmission dynamics.


According to research, the majority of insect species are univoltine or bivoltine, with only a small percentage exhibiting multivoltine or trivoltine voltinism.

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