Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 62, Issue 8, pp 1333–1340 | Cite as

Reproductive trade-offs from mating with a successful male: the case of the tephritid fly Anastrepha obliqua

  • Diana Perez-StaplesEmail author
  • Martín Aluja
  • Rogelio Macías-Ordóñez
  • John Sivinski
Original Paper


In lekking species, females may become sperm-limited when mating with sexually successful males, and this may be exacerbated by a poor male diet. Polygynous males may also be limited by the amount of accessory gland products (AGPs) they can transmit to females, which in turn may influence the females’ refractory period and longevity. Here, we tested the effect of male mating history, larval and adult diet on copula duration, mating intervals, female fecundity, fertilisation success, life span and likelihood to remate using sexually successful males of the lekking tephritid fly Anastrepha obliqua. Flies originated from either a native or exotic host fruit and were protein-fed or deprived. Male diet and larval host influenced copula duration, while the time elapsed between matings was affected by the interaction of mating order and male adult diet. Female fecundity was not influenced by female position in mating order or protein inclusion into the male diet. However, mating order and male larval diet influenced female fertilisation success. Importantly, as males mated successively they were less able to induce a refractory period on females, as the last females to mate with a male were more likely to remate and had slightly longer life spans than the first females to mate with males. These results might be attributed to a decrease in male AGPs with increasing male mating frequency. We discuss the role of conditional expression of male mating frequency with respect to A. obliqua’s life history, the trade-off that females face when mating with a successful male, the effect of larval diet on adult sexual performance and the possibility for sexual conflict to occur due to high male mating rates and fitness costs to females.


Mating behaviour Sperm depletion Refractory period Larval host Diet Tephritidae 



We sincerely thank six anonymous referees and two associate editors for many insightful comments and suggestions for improvement. We are also very grateful to Carlos Cordero (Instituto de Ecología, UNAM) for helpful suggestions and discussion throughout the project as well as for comments on the manuscript. Melissa Galicia and Lizbeth González provided critical technical assistance throughout the study. We thank Francisco Díaz-Fleischer, the technicians in Desarrollo de Métodos in the Moscafrut program, Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico, and Martin Pale (Instituto de Ecología, A.C.) for helping us obtain pupae. We also thank Roberto Munguía-Steyer for statistical advice and Larissa Guillén and Nicoletta Righini (Instituto de Ecología, A.C.) for their general assistance. Financial support was provided by the Mexican Campaña Nacional Contra las Moscas de la Fruta (Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural y Pesca-Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura) and a competitive grant from the Mexican Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (Project CONACYT-SEP-2004-C01-46846). This is part of the PhD dissertation of DPS, directed by MA and supported by CONACyT through a fellowship to DPS. The experiments performed here comply with the current laws of Mexico.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana Perez-Staples
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Martín Aluja
    • 1
  • Rogelio Macías-Ordóñez
    • 1
  • John Sivinski
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto de Ecología A.C.XalapaMéxico
  2. 2.Center for Medical, Agricultural & Veterinary EntomologyUSDA-ARSGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.LABIOTECAUniversidad VeracruzanaXalapaMexico

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