Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Influence of conspecific presence, experience and host quality on oviposition behavior and clutch size determination in Anastrepha ludens (Diptera: Tephritidae)
Martín Ramón Aluja Schuneman Hofer
Acceso Abierto
Females of some insect species adjust the number of ovipositions and clutch size adaptively depending on conspecific density and probably experience. In a series of three experiments, we examined the effect of the presence of conspecifics, host quality, and oviposition experience on oviposition behavior and clutch size determination by females of the polyphagous fruit fly Anastrepha ludens (Diptera: Tephritidae). In the first experiment, we determined that grouped (eight females per cage) A. ludens females tended to visit and oviposit in more hosts than did solitary females probably as a result of stimulation by the presence of conspecifics. We also determined that females with previous oviposition experience visited and oviposited in more hosts than inexperienced ones. Importantly, when females were grouped, we observed significantly more landings on unoccupied hosts (i.e., devoid of flies) than on occupied ones (i.e., with at least one fly on it). However, oviposition experience, and not female density, was the most important factor affecting clutch size. Naive females deposited larger egg clutches than experienced ones. In the second experiment, we found that oviposition experience and host quality (i.e., clean fruit or fruit covered with a host marking pheromone [HMP] extract), influenced clutch size and the decision of females to defend or not defend the host. Clutch size and number of fights were greater on clean than on HMP- marked hosts. In the third experiment, we observed that host quality (i.e., size) played a significant role with regard to the number of female fights, host marking behavior, and clutch size. Specifically, females fought and dragged their aculeus longer on small- and medium-sized hosts than on large ones. But this behavior varied according to whether females were kept alone or grouped. Clutch size was greatest in the largest hosts. Considering all the above, we believe that the observed increase in ovipositional activity by grouped A. ludens females can be attributed to competition through mutual interference and not social facilitation as has been reported in other tephritid species.
Journal of Insect Behavior
Díaz-Fleischer F., Aluja M. 2003. Influence of conspecific presence, experience and host quality on oviposition behavior and clutch size determination in Anastrepha ludens (Diptera: Tephritidae). Journal of Insect Behavior. 16 (4): 537-554
Appears in Collections:Publicaciones

Upload archives

File SizeFormat 
8393_2002-328.pdf98.83 kBAdobe PDFView/Open