Male Wing Vibration in the Mating Behavior of the Olive Fruit Fly Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) (Diptera: Tephritidae)
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- Benelli, G., Canale, A., Bonsignori, G. et al. J Insect Behav (2012) 25: 590. doi:10.1007/s10905-012-9325-9
The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae (Diptera: Tephritidae), is a worldwide pest of olive fruits. To date, the mating behavior of this tephritid has not been fully clarified. Little has been reported regarding the characteristics and behavioral role of B. oleae male wing vibration. This study provides a detailed description of male wing vibration, recorded by a high-speed video camera and compared with a frame-by-frame analysis, prior to successful and unsuccessful matings. Experimental evidence is given of the importance of male wing vibration during courtship for successful mating. Firstly, when the males did not perform wing vibration, but simply jumped onto the female and immediately attempted to copulate, no successful matings were registered. Secondly, when the male’s wings were removed, the probability of successful mating was significantly reduced. Thirdly, the frequency and pulse duration of the male wing vibration during courtship were higher in successful matings than in unsuccessful ones. Lastly, a wing sexual dimorphism was found: length and total wing area were significantly higher among males. Overall, our research increases the knowledge of the reproductive behavior of B. oleae, by suggesting the importance of wing vibration among the range of sensory modalities used by this tephritid in sexual communication.