Does Mating with Ginger Root Oil-Exposed Males Confer Fitness Benefits to Female Mediterranean Fruit Flies, Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae)?

Shelly, Todd E.
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Hawaiian Entomological Society
Females of the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), mate preferentially with males previously exposed to the aroma of ginger root oil, which contains the known male attractant α-copaene, over non-exposed males. As males of certain insect species are capable of absorbing and metabolizing air-borne molecules, this study examined whether females gain fitness benefits through mating with ginger root oil-exposed males, who might transfer oil-derived compounds during mating. Four components of fitness — female fecundity, female longevity, egg hatch, and egg-to-pupal development — were measured in the laboratory for females mated to exposed and non-exposed males. Despite female preference for oil-exposed males, mating with such males did not result in elevated performance for any of the four parameters measured. The evolution of female mate choice in C. capitata is discussed in light of these findings.
Ceratitis capitata, mating behavior, longevity, fruit flies, ginger root, egg hatchability, males, essential oils, volatile compounds, sesquiterpenoids, females, fecundity, insect development
Shelly TE. 2005. Does mating with ginger root oil-exposed males confer fitness benefits to female Mediterranean fruit flies, Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae)? Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 37:65–71.
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