Mating activity of Bactrocera cacuminata (Hering) (Diptera: Tephritidae) on its larval host plant Solanum mauritianum Scopoli in southeast Queensland
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A detailed study was conducted on the mating behaviour of Bactrocera cacuminata (Hering) (Diptera: Tephritidae) in nature. Plant tissues from Solanum mauritianum Scopoli, the primary larval host for B. cacuminata, were also analysed for methyl eugenol content. In the field, over a 15 month period, 44,171 observations of adult B. cacuminata individuals were made including 1109 mating pairs on S. mauritianum. Calling behaviour consisting of wing fanning and anus beating by males was also consistently observed on the underside of leaves of S. mauritianum after sunset. Female flies that arrived into these groups of 10-15 calling males were mated and often remained coupled until dawn. No methyl eugenol was detected from the analysis of leaves, flowers and fruits of S. mauritianum. Thus, B. cacuminata does not need to aggregate at sites where methyl eugenol is present and the hypothesis that this chemical plays a role in the selectiong of mating sites by B. cacuminata is not supported by the current study. It is concluded that S. mauritianum is the primary site of mating for B. cacuminata in nature and that the concept that the larval host plant is the centre of activity for dacine fruit flies remains robust, being fully supported by the results of this study.
Bulletin of Entomological Research: containing original and review articles on economic entomology
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