The effects of the interaction between the operational sex ratio (OSR) and a resource (i.e. oviposition site) on mating dynamics have rarely been considered. We examined the effect of the resource presence and its interaction, with the effect of OSR on copulation duration in Rhagoletis juglandis, a tephritid fly species characterized by a resource-defence mating system in which males defend territories on Walnut fruit. In this species, copulation duration varies from 30 s to over 1 h and was shown previously to respond strongly to changes in OSR. In the field, short copulations tended to begin and end on fruit, whereas most long copulations generally began on fruit but ended in the foliage, suggesting a possible effect of resource presence on the copulation duration. In laboratory assays of isolated pairs, copulations were significantly shorter in the presence of a surrogate fruit, confirming the effect of resource presence. In another laboratory assay, in which we manipulated OSR independently of resource presence, resource presence and OSR were additive in their effects. Results are discussed in the context of sperm competition theory.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology