THE EFFECT OF SUPRA-FRONTO-ORBITAL (SFO) BRISTLE REMOVAL ON MALE MATING SUCCESS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN FRUIT FLY (DIPTERA: TEPHRITIDAE)

M. K. Hunt, E. A. Roux, R. J. Wood and A. S. Gilburn

Abstract


Here we present the findings of a laboratory study in which male Mediterranean fruit flies (medflies), Ceratitis capitata, (Wiedemann) had one or both supra-fronto-orbital (SFO) bristles artificially removed, for comparison with unoperated controls. All the flies were weighed and had their wings measured. The time at which a male began pheromone-calling was correlated with its weight, lighter males beginning calling earlier, but there was no effect of weight on mating success. Mated males had significantly longer wings than unmated males although there was no correlation with wing width. Although males missing both bristles were rejected more by females than those with one or two bristles, the loss of a single bristle had no effect on female response. The presence of bristles was not essential for successful mating. This study does not support the idea of females visually assessing males on the basis of their bristle symmetry.

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