Effects of carbohydrate types on larval development and adult traits in a polyphagous fruit fly

Juliano Morimoto*, Binh Nguyen, Ida Lundbäck, Ahn The Than, Shabnam T. Tabrizi, Fleur Ponton, Phillip W. Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Nutrition is a major mediator of insect life-history trait expression. While the role of macronutrient (carbohydrate and protein) balance on trait expression has received substantial attention, the implications of different classes of specific macronutrients remains virtually unexplored. Here, we addressed this gap by varying the type of carbohydrate in larval diets of the polyphagous fruit fly Bactrocera tryoni (aka ‘Queensland fruit fly’). Sourcing insects from a colony maintained using larval diets that contain sucrose, we assessed the effects of sucrose, maltose, and lactose on larval development and adult traits. Replacement of sucrose with lactose resulted in slow larval growth, as well as decreases in pupation, adult emergence and adult body weight for both sexes, although adult lipid reserves were unaffected. Sucrose and maltose were equivalent in terms of larval growth, pupation, adult emergence and adult weight of both sexes. Surprisingly, adults from larvae reared on diets containing maltose had lower lipid reserves than adults from larvae reared on diets containing either lactose or sucrose. The sex ratio of adults at emergence from larvae reared on diets containing lactose and maltose was balanced, but was female-biased in adults from larvae reared on diets containing sucrose. Our results show that carbohydrate sources are not equivalent for development of the Queensland fruit fly, affecting both larval development and adult traits. These findings have implications for understanding the ecology of this highly polyphagous species which infests fruits with highly diverse carbohydrate contents, as well as for the rearing and management of this pest species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103969
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Volume120
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

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Keywords

  • Nutritional ecology
  • Larval behaviour
  • Developmental environment
  • Evolutionary ecology

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