Why do calling medflies (Diptera: Tephritidae) cluster? Assessing the empirical evidence for models of medfly lek evolution

S. A. Field*, R. Kaspi, B. Yuval

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent years have seen a proliferation both in theoretical approaches to understanding lek evolution and in empirical work on the lek mating system in the Mediterranean fruit fly. This paper aims to integrate these two lines of research and to identify practical insights of relevance to those engaged in medfly research. We begin by considering the definition of a medfly lek and recognize the existence of male aggregations at two distinct spatial scales: entire trees, or groups of trees within a given habitat; and small areas (ca 30 cm diameter) within the canopy of a given tree. After summarizing the assumptions and predictions of the main candidate models for lek evolution (predation avoidance, hotspot, hotshot and female preferences) we review empirical evidence from previous and ongoing research that is relevant to medfly lek evolution at both spatial scales. Far from being attributable to a single cause, we conclude that the evolution and selective maintenance of lekking behavior in the medfly can be attributed to a complex mosaic of interacting ecological pressures. We recognize that much more empirical work is needed to resolve outstanding questions on medfly lek evolution, and highlight potential benefits from the interaction between pure and applied lines of research on medfly mating behavior.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
JournalFlorida Entomologist
Volume85
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2003

Keywords

  • Ceratitis capitata
  • Evolution
  • Lek
  • Medfly
  • Model

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