Submitted to: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/7/2008
Publication Date: 6/1/2008
Citation: Perez-Staples, D., Aluja, M., Macias-Ordonez, R., Sivinski, J.M. 2008. Reproductive trade-offs from mating with a successful male: the case of the tephritid fly Anastrepha obliqua. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 62:1333-1340. Interpretive Summary: Tephritid fruit flies destroy scores of fruit and vegetable species and cause trade barriers wherever they occur. The West Indian fruit fly is found throughout Latin America and is a potentially invasive pest of USA agriculture. Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is one means of dealing with an invasion, but its success depends on the sexual capacity of the mass-reared and sterilized males. This can only be assured if there is a thorough understanding of the pest’s reproductive behavior. Scientists at the USDA-ARS, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (Gainesville, Florida) in collaboration with colleagues from the Instituto de Ecologia (Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico) examined the effects of multiple mating by males on female fecundity and propensity to remate. It was found that sperm were not exhausted by through sexual activity, but females that mate mated with experienced males were more likely to remate. This information could influence the numbers of sterile flies released in SIT programs.
Technical Abstract: In lekking species, females may become sperm-limited when mating with sexually successful males and this may be exacerbated by a poor male adult diet. Polygynous males may also be limited by the amount of accessory gland products (AGPs) they can transmit to females which in turn may influence the females' refractory periods and longevity. Here, we tested the effect of mating order (i.e., whether females were the first or subsequent mates of a particular male) and male diet on female fecundity and fertility using sexually successful males of the lekking tephritid fly Anastrepha obliqua. We also investigated the influence of mating order on female likelihood to remate and life-span. Flies originated from either a native (tropical plum) or exotic (mango) host fruit. Female fecundity and fertility were not influenced by female position in mating order or protein inclusion into the male diet. However, male diet did influence days until sperm depletion but only for flies from the exotic host. Likewise, the intermating interval was influenced by the interaction between male diet and mating order and copula duration by mating order only for individuals from the exotic host. Female mating order and the number of days after an initial copulation affected remating propensity. Female life-span was longer for those copulating with non-virgin males. These results might be attributed to a decrease in male AGPs with increasing mating order that allow females to remate but also negatively affect female longevity. We discuss our results with respect to A. obliqua's life history, the exotic host's effect on male performance and the implications of copulation with successful males on female fitness.