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Male position and calling effort together influence male attractiveness in leks of the medfly, Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae)

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Author(s)

N Niyazi, David Michael Shuker, RJ Wood

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Despite the close association between lek mating systems and the study of female mate choice, male mating success in leks is often associated with other aspects of sexual selection as well as female choice of male display traits. Males of the medfly Ceratitis capitata form leks on the undersides of leaves of their host plants. By experimentally creating artificial leks, we show that male success at attracting females depends not only on male calling effort (pheromone production dispersed by wing movement), but also on the position of the male within a lek. Males in the highest position in the artificial lek (closest to the light) attracted more females, and received more visits from those females. In our experiment, we deliberately minimized the visual cues that females approaching a male could use and, under these conditions, found no associations between male attractiveness and male size, weight or fluctuating asymmetry, either of the wings or sex setae (a pair of bilateral supra-fronto-orbital bristles). The latter result contrasts with earlier studies showing a significant negative association between sex setae fluctuating asymmetry and mating success. Accordingly, we conclude that symmetry of the male sex setae has no role in nonvisual communication (e.g. through directing pheromone plumes). Mating patterns associated with this insect are therefore every bit as complex as those in vertebrate leks. (c) 2008 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2008, 95, 479-487.

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-487
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
Volume95
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008

    Research areas

  • hotshot model, hotspot model, Mediterranean fruit fly, rectal epithelial gland, SIT, sterile insect technique, MEDITERRANEAN FRUIT-FLY, SEXUAL SELECTION, MATING-BEHAVIOR, MATE CHOICE, FLUCTUATING ASYMMETRY, COURTSHIP SUCCESS, LEKKING, EVOLUTION, BENEFITS, FLIES

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