Spatial and temporal partitioning of behaviour by adult dacines: direct evidence for methyl eugenol as a mate rendezvous cue for Bactrocera cacuminata

Raghu, S. & Clarke, Anthony R. (2003) Spatial and temporal partitioning of behaviour by adult dacines: direct evidence for methyl eugenol as a mate rendezvous cue for Bactrocera cacuminata. Physiological Entomology, 28(3), pp. 175-184.

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Resource use in adult Dacinae (Diptera: Tephritidae) is believed to be restricted to the host plant (i.e. the plant that provides fruit for oviposition and larval development). However, studies on Bactrocera cacuminata did not support this hypothesis. Thus, it was hypothesized that adult flies partition their diurnal activities between spatially separated resources (host plant, sugar, protein and methyl eugenol) as a function of the physiological status of the fly (immature, mature–unmated, mature–mated). In accordance with a priori predictions, the results of a field-cage study show that there are significant diurnal patterns in abundance and behaviour, and that flies of different physiological status use resources differently. Immature flies spend most of their time foraging for sugar and protein to facilitate development. Sexually mature flies forage for sugars during the day, and at dusk, responded strongly to methyl eugenol and mate. The fact that polygynous males wait at methyl eugenol at dusk whereas the mated, monandrous females spend their time ovipositing in fruit and are nonresponsive to methyl eugenol, supports Metcalf's hypothesis that such phenylpropanoids serve as mate rendezvous cues.

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11 citations in Scopus
13 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 10072
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-3032.2003.00328.x
ISSN: 0307-6962
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 Blackwell Publishing
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at
Deposited On: 10 Oct 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:01

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