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Effect of physiological and experiential state of Bactrocera tryoni flies on intra-tree foraging behavior for food (bacteria) and host fruit

Prokopy, R.J. and Drew, R.A.I. and Sabine, B.N.E. and Lloyd, A.C. and Hamacek, E. (1991) Effect of physiological and experiential state of Bactrocera tryoni flies on intra-tree foraging behavior for food (bacteria) and host fruit. Oecologia, 87 (3). pp. 394-400.

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Abstract

Using caged guava trees in Queensland, Australia, provided with food and oviposition sites, the foraging behaviour of females of the tephritid Bactrocera tryoni was investigated in relation to hunger for protein, the presence or absence of bacteria as a source of protein, the degree of prior experience with host fruit and quality of host fruit for oviposition. One aim was to evaluate whether it is immature or mature B. tryoni females that are responsible for initially inoculating host fruit surfaces with "fruit-fly-type" bacteria, the odour of which is known to attract B. tryoni females. Three-week-old immature females provided with sucrose but deprived of protein from eclosion had a much greater propensity than 3-week-old protein-fed mature females to visit vials containing fruit-fly-type bacteria, irrespective of whether vials were associated with adjacent host fruit or not. In the absence of associated bacteria in vials, immature females had a much lower propensity than mature females to visit host fruit. In the presence of bacteria in vials, however, propensity of immature and mature females to visit fruit was about equal. Mature (but not immature) females were more inclined to visit fruit that ranked higher for oviposition (nectarines) than fruit that ranked lower (sweet oranges). Mature females that attempted oviposition during a single 3-min exposure period to a nectarine prior to release were much more likely to find a nectarine than were mature females naive to fruit or immature females with or without prior contact with fruit. Exposure to a nectarine before release did not affect the propensity of either mature or immature females to alight on an odourless visual model of a nectarine, however. As judged by numbers of leaves visited, protein-deprived immature females were more active than protein-fed mature females, irrespective of the sorts of resources on a tree. It was concluded that: the 1st B. tryoni females to arrive on the fruit of a host tree and therefore inoculate the fruit with fruit-fly-type bacteria were unlikely to be sexually immature, but to be mature as a result of having earlier acquired protein elsewhere; the odour of colonies of fruit-fly-type bacteria when associated with host fruit attracted protein-hungry but not protein-fed females; and the odour of the fruit itself attracted mature females (especially experienced ones) but not immature females.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science, Agri-Science
Keywords:Insect pests; Foraging; Guavas; Oranges; Nectarines; fruits; biology;behaviour; agricultural entomology
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General)
Plant pests and diseases
Science > Entomology
Deposited On:19 Apr 2013 05:53
Last Modified:19 Apr 2013 05:53

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