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J Insect Physiol. 2010 Nov;56(11):1552-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2010.05.008. Epub 2010 May 20.

Enhancing male sexual success in a lekking fly (Anastrepha suspensa Diptera: Tephritidae) through a juvenile hormone analog has no effect on adult mortality.

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Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA.


While defending lek-territories, male Anastrepha suspensa (Loew) produce chemical, acoustic and visual courtship signals. In the laboratory and under semi-natural conditions, topical application of the juvenile hormone analog methoprene doubles pheromone production and subsequently doubles sexual success. However, sexual signals and interactions are likely to be physiologically expensive and so result in higher male mortality. Comparison of males kept in isolation for 35 days, but provided daily with a potential mate or a rival male, revealed that both male- and female-interactors shortened focal-male lifespan. In addition, focal males were either treated with methoprene or not, then either provided with protein in their sucrose-based diet or not. Protein proved to similarly double sexual success and also resulted in longer male life spans in all of the interactor-categories. However, there was no evidence that methoprene induced hypersexuality resulted in higher rates of mortality, i.e., the longevity of males treated with methoprene did not significantly differ from untreated males in the same interactor/diet categories. This apparent lack of costs to a putatively sexually selected signal is unexpected but presents an opportunity to increase the sexual competence of sterile flies with few consequences to their survival following mass-release.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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