The importance of male aggregation size for female visitation and initiation of male pheromone-calling was investigated in Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt) (Diptera: Tephritidae) using artificial male aggregations in large laboratory cages. Female B. tryoni visited the largest aggregation more frequently than single males in association with a higher proportion of calling males, but there was no correlation between aggregation size and female visitation. Female B. tryoni had a limited capacity to perceive a difference between the number of calling males. Calling propensity of male B. tryoni was increased by the presence of conspecific males. Increased calling propensity in larger groups of male B. tryoni may be due to social facilitation of male calling behaviour. Female visitation at aggregations was only weakly associated with male calling, suggesting that aggregation size and the number of pheromone-calling males are not the only factors important in locating mates in B. tryoni, and it is possible that low-density populations could persist so long as females can encounter single males.
- Mating behaviour
- Queensland fruit fly