Zingerone feeding affects mate choice but not fecundity or fertility in the melon fly, Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Jess R. Inskeep*, Todd E. Shelly, Roger I. Vargas, Helen Spafford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Consuming natural male lure compounds enables the males of some fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) to mate more successfully within their femalechoice mating systems. However, it remains unclear what benefits females derive from mating with lure-fed males. With Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt) (Diptera: Tephritidae), feeding on the lures cue-lure and zingerone is associated with increased fecundity of mated females, but this direct fitness benefit was not apparent with B. dorsalis (Hendel) (with the lure methyl eugenol) or Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Coquillett) (with the lure cue-lure). Expanding on previous observations, we fed Z. cucurbitae males zingerone, but we observed no evidence of direct fitness benefits to males feeding on zingerone (i.e., mating success and virgin longevity), or to females mated to zingerone-fed males (i.e., longevity, fecundity, and egg viability). We therefore find no reason to reject the runaway selection hypothesis that previously has been proposed to explain lure attraction in B. dorsalis and Z. cucurbitae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
JournalFlorida Entomologist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

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  • Bactrocera cucurbitae
  • fitness
  • male lure
  • sexual selection

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