Evolution of fruit fly oviposition behavior

Francisco Díaz-Fleischer, Daniel R Papaj, Ronald J. Prokopy, Allen L. Norrbom, Martín Aluja

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

85 Scopus citations


Two general concepts in evolutionary biology have fundamental application to our understanding of the evolution of oviposition behavior in tephritid flies, namely, the concepts of opportunism and key innovation. The first, opportunism, refers to the opportunistic nature of natural selection. Natural selection does not necessarily move organisms along the path that leads to the peak of highest fitness on the adaptive landscape. Rather, natural selection often chooses a relatively expedient path, even if that path does not lead to a theoretically maximum fitness. There are two types of opportunism that we will address in this chapter. The first involves opportunistic use of what the animal itself has available to be modified to serve a particular function. The conversion of the second pair of wings in the Diptera to the halteres, structures that serve a gyroscopic function, is a classic example of morphological opportunism in natural selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFruit Flies (Tephritidae)
Subtitle of host publicationPhylogeny and Evolution of Behavior
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9781420074468
ISBN (Print)9780849312755
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Engineering


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