Nutritional correlates of reproductive success of male Mediterranean fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Sigal Blay, Boaz Yuval*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


We examined the hypothesis that adult diet affects the reproductive success of male Mediterranean fruit flies. In particular we determined whether protein-fed males copulated more frequently than protein-deprived males. Furthermore, we determined whether the nutritional status of their first sexual partner affects the renewal of female receptivity. Males fed no protein copulated at a significantly lower rate than did males fed protein. In both diet groups, size was significantly associated with copulatory success. Protein-deprived males transferred significantly more sperm to their mates than did protein-fed males. However, significantly more females mated to protein-deprived males re-mated on the following day. We conclude that male diet is a significant factor in determining male reproductive success. Male diet affects the ability to gain copulations with virgin females, and the receptivity of these females to further copulations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Moshe Coll, Phil Taylor and Meirav Warburg for comments on the manuscript and Hillary Voet and Moshe Coll for advice on data analysis. Roy Kaspi assisted in the laboratory. Flies were reared and generously provided by R. Akiva and Y. Rossler of the Israel Citrus Board. Supported by grants from the Israel Ministry of Arts and Sciences and the National Science Foundation to B.Y.


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