3 years ago

Larval host plant influences male body size and mating success in a tephritid fruit fly

Larval host plant influences male body size and mating success in a tephritid fruit fly
Todd E. Shelly
In phytophagous insects, the larval host plant may have a profound effect on the biology of the adult stage. This influence has been most widely studied in females, where larval diet may affect their fecundity and survival. Males have been less well studied, with focus on host plant effects on (1) male size and the consequences of variable male size on male mating success, ejaculate, and/or nuptial gifts, or (2) male-produced chemical signals important in sexual communication. The melon fly, Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Coquillett) (Diptera: Tephritidae), is a world-wide agricultural pest that infests plants of the family Cucurbitaceae primarily but also attacks hosts in other unrelated families. The objective of the present study was to investigate whether larval host influenced female choice in Z. cucurbitae and, in particular, test for random mating using adults (Z flies) whose larvae fed on a cucurbit host (zucchini, Cucurbita pepo L.) and adults (P flies) whose larvae fed on a non-cucurbit host (papaya, Carica papaya L., Caricaceae). In field tent trials, both Z and P females mated more often with Z males than P males, and in no-choice laboratory cage trials, mating latency was generally shorter for Z than for P males. Wing vein measurements, made both within and between generations, showed that Z males were consistently larger than P males. Further observations of fly trios — one female plus one large and one small male — revealed that large males dominated in aggressive encounters and exhibited wing fanning (signaling) more often than their smaller counterparts. Although olfactory signals associated with wing fanning were not investigated in the present study, the observed host-mediated difference in male size is, if not solely responsible, certainly an important determinant of the mating patterns described. In phytophagous insects, the larval host plant may have a profound effect on the biology of the adult stage. This influence has been most widely studied in females, where larval diet may affect their fecundity and survival. Males have been less well studied. In field tent trials and no-choice laboratory cage trials, the larval host – zucchini vs. papaya – of melon fly, Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Diptera: Tephritidae), was found to affect adult size, which in turn influenced male mating success.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/eea.12639

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.