EFFECT OF ADULT DIET ON SIGNALING ACTIVITY, MATE ATTRACTION, AND MATING SUCCESS IN MALE MEDITERRANEAN FRUIT FLIES (DIPTERA: TEPHRITIDAE)

T. E. Shelly, S. S. Kennelly and D. O. McInnis

Abstract


Field experiments were performed to examine the effect of adult diet on calling activity, female attraction, and mating success in male Mediterranean fruit flies, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann). In all tests, comparisons were drawn between males fed sugar only ("protein-deprived" males) and males fed a protein-sugar mixture ("protein-fed" males). In tests of long-distance attraction, aggregations consisting of protein-deprived males exclusively or protein-fed males exclusively were established in a coffee field, and females were released from a central release point. Protein-fed and protein-deprived males displayed similar calling levels, but approximately twice as many female sightings were recorded at groups of protein-fed males than at groups of protein-deprived males. A second test of female attraction compared single groups of protein-deprived and protein-fed males within the canopy of a field-caged host plant. As before, calling activity did not vary with diet, and in this case numbers of female sightings were also similar between aggregations of protein-fed vs. protein-deprived males. In mating trials conducted on field-caged host plants, protein-fed males achieved significantly more matings than protein-deprived males. These results are compared with other recent studies on the nutritional ecology of male Mediterranean fruit flies.

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