We examined oviposition rates and fertility in once-mated and virgin female Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann). Mating accelerated the onset of oviposition and significantly increased oviposition rate. A single mating sufficed for the fertilization of only 66% of the eggs on average. In mated females, oviposition rate decreased with age, as did the proportion of eggs fertilized. Female size and the maximum number of fertile eggs produced per day were significantly positively correlated, but female size and the lifetime production of eggs were not. Size appears to affect the reproductive potential of the female, although egg production is limited by additional factors. Female longevity was not correlated with body size. The longer the female lived, the more eggs she produced, but this was an outcome of the long oviposition period and not of any correlation between the 2 adaptive traits (longer life span and high oviposition rate). Male size affected sperm viability in later stages of the reproductive period of the female he inseminated, but it did not affect her overall fertility or longevity. We discuss whether the decrease in oviposition rate is a direct outcome of sperm depletion, or if other critical resources limit egg production.
- Reproductive success