Apodeme and ovarian development as predictors of physiological status in Bactrocera cacuminata (Hering) (Diptera: Tephritidae)
Assessing resource-use by different life stages of insects is crucial to our understanding of their ecology. Development of appropriate methods by which different physiological states can be identified is therefore significant. We develop one such method for the dacine fly Bactrocera cacuminata (Hering) (Diptera: Tephritidae). In male flies, the ejaculatory apodeme, a structural part of the reproductive endoskeleton, grows as a function of age of the fly. This growth pattern is sigmoid, reaching a maximum threshold that corresponds with the attainment of sexual maturity, as measured by the incidence of first mating. Similarly, in female flies ovarian development appears to be a reliable indicator of sexual maturity. Assuming that similar growth thresholds occur in wild flies, it is possible to use apodeme and ovarian development as measures of physiological/reproductive status in this species.
Australian Journal of Entomology
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