Feeding on Papaya Flowers Enhances Mating Competitiveness of Male Oriental Fruit Flies, Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Shelly, Todd E.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Hawaiian Entomological Society
Males of the oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), are attracted to and feed on methyl eugenol. The goal of the present study was to determine whether feeding on a methyl eugenol-bearing plant, papaya (Carica papaya L.) would result in a mating advantage for B. dorsalis males. Mating frequencies of males given access to flowers (treated) and flower-deprived males (control) were compared in trials conducted 2 and 7 d after treated males were exposed to the flowers. For both intervals, treated males accounted for a significantly larger number of matings than control males. A second experiment compared female attraction to control and treated males. When at a lek, males display vigorous wing-fanning behavior, presumably to increase dispersal of the sex pheromone. Floral feeding resulted in a significant increase in wing- fanning activity but did not appear to affect the attractiveness of the pheromonal signal per se. A field experiment revealed that male captures in methyl eugenol-baited traps were not reduced by prior feeding on papaya flowers.
Bactrocera dorsalis, Carica papaya, feeding behavior, flowers, fruit flies, males, mating competitiveness, mating frequency, methyl eugenol, papayas
Shelly TE. 2001. Feeding on papaya flowers enhances mating competitiveness of male oriental fruit flies, Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae). Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 35:41–47.
Access Rights
Email libraryada-l@lists.hawaii.edu if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.