Mating trophallaxis represents a fascinating strategy adopted by males of several animal species to affect the decision-making of females during mating. Among tephritids, few species perform mating trophallaxis. However, this phenomenon has been little studied in major tephritid pests. We reported the presence of indirect mating trophallaxis in Mediterranean fruit flies, Ceratitis capitata, showing its influence on the main mating traits, male mating success and female egg load. Of 219 mating pairs, only 27 of them showed mating trophallaxis, indicating that mating trophallaxis may represent a significant male energy investment. The duration of male wing vibration and the whole precopula phase was longer in pairs that mated without trophallaxis compared to the pairs displaying mating trophallaxis. Males that displayed trophallaxis performed a longer whole duration of the courtship and mating sequence, with no differences in copula duration. Male mating success was slightly increased by trophallaxis. The majority of males performing trophallaxis skipped wing vibration during courtship, while all males courting females without trophallaxis relied on wing vibration to attract females within short distances. No egg load differences were reported for females that consumed nuptial gifts over control females. Overall, our research sheds light on the relation between indirect mating trophallaxis and egg load production in medflies, providing a better understanding of sexual selective mechanisms as the basis of courtship and mating behaviour in tephritid flies. Furthermore, this behaviour could be used as a quality control parameter to assess medfly mass-reared strains, in order to improve sterile insect technique programmes.
|Titolo:||Does indirect mating trophallaxis boost male mating success and female egg load in Mediterranean fruit flies?|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo su Rivista/Article|