Do Females of Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) (Diptera: Tephritidae) Gain an Indirect Benefit by Mating with Methyl Eugenol–Fed Males? Assessing the Possibility that Sons of Methyl Eugenol–Fed Fathers Show Enhanced Lure Responsiveness and Mating Success

Shelly, Todd E
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Hawaiian Entomological Society
Males of the oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), are strongly attracted to, and feed voraciously on, methyl eugenol, a naturally occurring compound found in many plants. This attraction has long served as the basis for detection and eradication strategies against this agricultural pest. Recent studies have examined the biological basis of this attraction and demonstrated that derivatives of methyl eugenol are incorporated into the male sex pheromone and that methyl eugenol–fed males produce a more attractive pheromone and enjoy higher mating success than methyl eugenol-deprived males. What remains unclear is what (if anything) females gain by mating preferentially with methyl eugenol–fed males. Data from the congeneric Queensland fruit fly, B. tryoni (Froggatt), males of which are attracted to raspberry ketone/cue-lure, show that males sired by cue-lure–fed males are better able to locate this lure than males sired by non-cue-lure–fed males. The present study tested this notion with B. dorsalis in a series of field cage tests as well as a mark-release-recapture experiment. In none of the tests conducted was a difference detected in lure response between males fathered by methyl eugenol-fed versus methyl eugenol-deprived males. Moreover, no difference in mating success was observed between males sired by lure-fed or unfed males. Mate choice by B. dorsalis females is discussed in light of these results.
Bactrocera dorsalis, methyl eugenol, lure attraction, female mate choice
Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society (2021) 53:1-9.
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