BACKGROUND: In various species mating exerts direct and indirect effects on female demographic traits ranging from life span shortening to behavioural shifts. A wealth of data regarding effects of nutrition on longevity and reproduction output also exists. Nonetheless, little is known regarding the interaction between the age of mating and nutrition on female fitness. METHODOLOGY: We studied, the effects of protein deprivation and age of mating on female fitness traits, using a wild population of the Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly).
The success of the sterile insect technique (SIT) depends critically upon mating between released sterilized males and wild females. In Hawaii, improvements in the efficiency of sterile males were attempted on two separate fronts--mating enhancement and survival improvement. In the former, two methods have been investigated--selective breeding and aromatherapy. In the latter, flies which survived in field cages for several days were selected and bred to produce progeny with enhanced survival ability compared to control flies.
The Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), displays a lek mating system characterized by a high level of female discrimination among potential mates. The basis of female choice is not understood, but recent studies indicate that male exposure to the aroma of certain plant structures or essential oils may increase mating success. In particular, exposure to the aroma of ginger root oil (GRO) enhances male mating frequency, and several sterile-male release programs against C.