Multiple Mating and Reproductive Success of Male and Female Apple Maggot Flies, Rhagoletis pomonella (Diptera: Tephritidae)

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Mature male and female apple maggot flies mated frequently on a field-caged host tree during a 14-day study. Each sex averaged one mating per day (mean of 1.0 ± 0.1), but some females mated up to eight times per day and some males up to six times per day. Reproductive success was estimated based both on observed numbers of matings in the field cage and on previous work relating fecundity and fertility to female mating status. Male and female flies did not differ in mean or variance in reproductive success, indicating that this is a polygamous mating system consisting of both polygyny and polyandry. We discuss the significance of this with regard to the framework of insect mating control and frequency proposed by others. We also discuss behaviors (such as movements, agonistic encounters, occurrences on fruit, and ovipositions) that do and do not show correlations with mating success in apple maggot flies.

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