In the study of life tables, scientists usually begin with a single cohort and record survival, development, and fecundity until the death of all individuals. Because it is extremely time-consuming, the replication of life table studies is generally impractical. To estimate the variability of life table statistics, jackknife and bootstrap techniques are usually used. However, the biological meaning of these statistical procedures is not yet fully understood. In this paper, we assessed the use of the jackknife and the bootstrap in estimating the variability of the net reproductive rate and gross reproductive rate. Life table data for the melon fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae (Diptera: Tephritidae) reared on cucumber, sponge gourd, and carrot medium were used as examples. Our results show that the jackknife is inadequate for the estimation of the variability of both the net reproductive rate and gross reproductive rate and may overestimate the variability
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