- 1) Department of Entomology, University of Massachusetts, 01003, Amherst, Massachusetts
- 2) Tropical Fruit and Vegetable Research Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, 96804, Honolulu, Hawaii
In field-cage studies, we investigated how the foraging behavior of tephritid fruit flies is modified by experience immediately prior to release on host plants. We observed females of a relatively monophagous species,Rhagoletis mendax (blueberry maggot fly), an oligophagous species,Rhagoletis pomomella (apple maggot fly), and a polyphagous species,Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly). Just prior to release on a host plant, the following kinds of stimuli were supplied: (1) single oviposition in a host fruit, (2) contact with 20% sucrose, (3) contact with a mixture of protein food (bird feces and sucrose), (4) contact with water, and (5) a walk over a host-plant leaf. When flies foraged on host plants without resources, search was most intensive (as measured by number of leaves visited) following a single oviposition in fruit, but residence time generally was the same following exposure to sugar, protein, and fruit stimuli.Rhagoletis mendax andC. capitata females visited the fewest leaves following exposure to water or host leaves, whereasR. pomonella foraged equally intensively following exposure to food stimuli, water, or leaves. On host plants containing resources (fruit and protein food), a single oviposition dramatically increased the number of females of all three species that found fruit compared to females that received experience with food, water or foliar stimuli. We found no significant effect of recent brief experience with any of the stimuli on subsequent attraction to protein food. Overall,C. capitata exhibited a higher propensity to abandon host plants than eitherR. mendax orR. pomonella. We suggest that this may reflect adaptations to differences in distribution of host plants in nature, strategies of dispersal, and host range.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Insect Science
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics