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Diel patterns of reproductive activities in the tomato fruit fly, Neoceratitis cyanescens

Brévault T., Quilici S.. 2000. Physiological Entomology (25) : p. 233-241.

DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-3032.2000.00181.x

We describe the diurnal temporal and spatial patterns of reproductive activities (mating and ovipositing) of adult tomato fruit flies, Neoceratitis cyanescens (Bezzi) (Diptera: Tephrifidae), under laboratory, field-cage and field conditions. The distribution pattern of flies in the different habitats (host and nonhost plants) showed temporal, physiological and sexual différences. Mature females were observed to frequent host plants preferentially, particularly in the late afternoon. By contrast, immature fernales preferred to rest on non-host plants throughout the day. Males frequented mainly non-host plants but some were observed on host fruits in the morning. Mating activity took place preferentially on non-host plants, in the morning. In laboratory cages, fernales showed a strong daily propensity to engage in mating behaviour; the mean percentage of mating females was 88 ± 5%. Time allotted to this activity (4 h 52 min ± 1 h 23 min in laboratory cages and at least 3h for the mating pairs observed in the field) appeared considerable compared to the time required to satisfy feeding or oviposition activities. Except for a few ovipositing females observed in the morning, oviposition activities occurred mainly in the late afternoon.
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