Host-marking pheromone and use of previously established oviposition sites by the mediterranean fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Daniel R. Papaj, Ann L. Averill, Ronald J. Prokopy, Tim T.Y. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Under controlled conditions, the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) preferred to initiate oviposition into preexisting, naturally formed oviposition punctures in a host fruit, kumquat (Fortunella japonica), over establishing new sites on the fruit. This preference was expressed despite the presence of naturally deposited host-marking pheromone (HMP)shown previously to deter oviposition. An almost-identical preference for existing punctures was expressed when females were presented with fruit bearing artificially made punctures on which HMP had been naturally deposited. Using artificial punctures and HMP extracts, the occurrence of punctures was manipulated independently of the presence of HMP. Under field-cage conditions, we found that (1) punctures stimulated egg-laying on kumquats, regardless of HMP treatment; (2) HMP extract inhibited egg-laying, regardless of the occurrence of punctures; and (3) the extent to which HMP inhibited egg-laying was greater on fruit free of punctures than on fruit bearing them. The physiological, evolutionary, and pest management implications of these results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-598
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1992


  • Ceratitis capitata
  • deterrent
  • marking pheromone
  • medfly
  • oviposition
  • parasite
  • stimulant
  • superparasitism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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