Is a mango just a mango? Testing within-fruit oviposition site choice and larval performance of a highly polyphagous fruit fly

Rattanapun, Wigunda, Amornsak, Weerawan, & Clarke, Anthony R. (2010) Is a mango just a mango? Testing within-fruit oviposition site choice and larval performance of a highly polyphagous fruit fly. Arthropod-Plant Interactions, 4(1), pp. 35-44.

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For fruit flies, fully ripe fruit is preferred for adult oviposition and is superior for offspring performance over unripe or ripening fruit. Because not all parts of a single fruit ripen simultaneously, the opportunity exists for adult fruit flies to selectively choose riper parts of a fruit for oviposition and such selection, if it occurs, could positively influence offspring performance. Such fine scale host variation is rarely considered in fruit fly ecology, however, especially for polyphagous species which are, by definition, considered to be generalist host users. Here we study the adult oviposition preference/larval performance relationship of the Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) (Diptera: Tephritidae), a highly polyphagous pest species, at the “within-fruit” level to see if such a host use pattern occurs. We recorded the number of oviposition attempts that female flies made into three fruit portions (top, middle and bottom), and larval behavior and development within different fruit portions for ripening (color change) and fully-ripe mango, Mangifera indica L. (Anacardiaceae). Results indicate that female B. dorsalis do not oviposit uniformly across a mango fruit, but lay most often in the top (i.e., stalk end) of fruit and least in the bottom portion, regardless of ripening stage. There was no evidence of larval feeding site preference or performance (development time, pupal weight, percent pupation) being influenced by fruit portion, within or across the fruit ripening stages. There was, however, a very significant effect on adult emergence rate from pupae, with adult emergence rate from pupae from the bottom of ripening mango being approximately only 50% of the adult emergence rate from the top of ripening fruit, or from both the top and bottom of fully-ripe fruit. Differences in mechanical (firmness) and chemical (total soluble solids, titratable acidity, total non-structural carbohydrates) traits between different fruit portions were correlated with adult fruit utilisation. Our results support a positive adult preference/offspring performance relationship at within-fruit level for B. dorsalis. The fine level of host discrimination exhibited by B. dorsalis is at odds with the general perception that, as a polyphagous herbivore, the fly should show very little discrimination in its host use behavior.

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ID Code: 40114
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: polyphagy, larvae, total soluble solids, oviposition, Bactrocera dorsalis, Tephritidae, host plant
DOI: 10.1007/s11829-009-9083-6
ISSN: 1872-8855
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > ECOLOGY (060200) > Behavioural Ecology (060201)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES (070000) > HORTICULTURAL PRODUCTION (070600) > Horticultural Crop Protection (Pests Diseases and Weeds) (070603)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Springer
Copyright Statement: The original publication is available at
Deposited On: 17 Feb 2011 00:33
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:15

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