Spatial distributions and clutch sizes of Drosophila species ovipositing on cherry fruits of different stages
In the aggregation theory, aggregation of eggs is one of important conditions for the coexistence of species. However, aggregation of eggs by clutch laying does not always promote coexistence, whereas aggregation of eggs by aggregated distributions of ovipositing females always has a significant contribution to the coexistence. In this study, spatial distributions of three Drosophila species across naturally occurring cherry fruits were studied with relation to their clutch sizes. Drosophila suzukii oviposited eggs mainly on fresh fruits on trees, and its eggs were randomly distributed across cherry fruits. The emergence data also indicated random spatial distributions of this species. Random egg distributions of this species are explained by random visits of females to fruits and the production of clutches of mostly single eggs. On the other hand, D. lutescens and D. rufa oviposited on fallen fruits, showed aggregated distributions in the emergence data, and frequently produced clutches of a few eggs. In these species, the degree of aggregation was usually significantly lower than the expectation based on random visits of females to fruits and their clutch sizes observed in the present experiments, indicating that their aggregation is unlikely to arise from aggregated distributions of ovipositing females. Thus, the spatial aggregation of these species does not necessarily lead to their coexistence.
KeywordsAggregation Coexistence Random distribution
We thank Dr. A. J. Davis for his comments and discussion. This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid from Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (No. 17570010).
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