Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 3–13 | Cite as

Lekking and the small-scale distribution of the sexes in the Caribbean fruit fly,Anastrepha suspensa (Loew)

  • John Sivinski


Male and female Anastrepha suspensa(Loew) had a clumped distribution in the foliage of their guava host plants. Males were no closer to other males than they were to females or than females were to other females. Flies were often found in roughly the same locations over time. However, contemporaries (flies present at the same time) were closer to each other than subsequent flies were to their predecessors. Males were more likely to be found near spots previously occupied by males than they were to spots used previously by females. Some trees had more flies than others, but there was no regional (northwest, etc.) preference within trees. Females were no more likely to be found in the vicinity of clumped (lekking) males than they were by isolated males. About a third of the females taken from inside leks had sperm in their spermathecae, and it is not clear if their motive for being in these areas was sexual. In pairs of males (within 15 cm of each other), the larger fly tends to be in a position farther up the branch, suggesting that larger males may control preferred territories. It seems possible that males attempting to intercept females accumulate in favorable microhabitats where females are likely to be concentrated and that leks have evolved from such clumping.

Key words

Anastrepha suspensa Caribbean fruit fly behavior distribution leks sexual selection 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alexander, R. D. (1975). Natural selection and specialized chorusing behavior in acoustical insects. In Pementel, D. (ed.),Insects, Science and Society, Academic Press, New York, pp. 35–77.Google Scholar
  2. Arita, L. W., and Kaneshiro, K. Y. (1985). The dynamics of the lek system and mating success of males of the Mediterranean fruit fly.Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann).Proc. Hawaii. Entomol. Soc. 25: 39–48.Google Scholar
  3. Bradbury, J. W. (1981). The evolution of leks. In Alexander, R. D., and Tinkle, D. W. (eds.),Natural Selection and Social Behavior, Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, pp. 138–169.Google Scholar
  4. Bradbury, J. W. (1985). Contrasts between insects and vertebrates in the evolution of male display, female choice, and lek mating. In Hölldobler, B., and Lendauer, M. (eds.),Experimental Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Sinauer, Sunderland, Mass., pp. 273–289.Google Scholar
  5. Bradbury, J. W., and Gibson, R. M. (1983). Leks and mate choice. In Bateson, P. (ed.),Mate Choice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Mass., pp. 109–138.Google Scholar
  6. Burk, T. (1981). Signalling and sex in acalypterate flies.Fla. Entomol. 64: 30–43.Google Scholar
  7. Burk, T. (1983). Behavioral ecology of mating in the Caribbean fruit fly,Anastrepha suspensa (Loew) (Diptera: Tephritidae).Fla. Entomol. 66: 330–334.Google Scholar
  8. Burk, T. (1984). Male-male interactions in Caribbean fruit flies,Anastrepha suspensa (Loew) (Diptera: Tephritidae): Territorial fights and signaling stimulation.Fla. Entomol. 66: 3–18.Google Scholar
  9. Burk, T., and Webb, J. C. (1983). Effect of male size on calling propensity, song parameters, and mating success in Caribbean fruit flies,Anastrepha suspensa (Loew) (Diptera: Tephritidae).Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 76: 678–682.Google Scholar
  10. Cade, W. H. (1981). Field cricket spacing, and the phonotaxes of crickets and parasitoid flies to clumped and isolated cricket songs.Z. Tierpsychol. 55: 365–375.Google Scholar
  11. Hendrichs, J. (1986).Sexual Selection in Wild and Sterile Caribbean Fruit Flies, Anastrepha suspensa(Loew) (Diptera, Tephritidae), Master of Science Thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville.Google Scholar
  12. Prokopy, R. J. (1980). Mating behavior of frugivorous tephritidae in nature. Proceedings, Symposium on Fruit Fly Problems, Kyoto and Naha, Japan, August 9–12, pp. 37–46.Google Scholar
  13. Prokopy, R. J., and Roitberg, B. D. (1984). Foraging behavior of true fruit flies.Am. Sci. 72: 41–49.Google Scholar
  14. Sivinski, J., and Burk, T. (1987). Reproductive and mating behavior. In Robinson, S., and Hooper, G. (eds.),Fruit flies—Biology, Natural Enemies and Control, Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Sivinski
    • 1
  1. 1.Insect Attractants, Behavior, and Basic Biology Research LaboratoryAgricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of AgricultureGainesville

Personalised recommendations