Increased knowledge of an insect pest's behavior may help to identify patterns that can be exploited to develop or improve management techniques and strategies. Targeting behaviors that relate to its reproduction are among the most promising for reducing its population. I present a study of many aspects of the courtship and mating behaviors of olive fruit fly (OLF), Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) (Diptera: Tephritidae), an invasive pest that has become widely established in California. Many researchers have studied OLF in the Mediterranean region, but fewer studies have been conducted specifically on the Californian populations. I focused my field work on the synchrony of OLF reproductive biology with the phenology of its host, fruit from the domestic olive (Olea europaea). I deployed sex pheromone traps and monitored them year round for about 3 years to determine when during the year males were captured on the traps. I had control traps (no pheromone) and food-baited traps to document the presence of flies in the olive groves to compare with the timing of flies caught in the pheromone traps. My laboratory studies focused on recording activity and behaviors of males and females in two ways. First, I monitored the circadian movement of males and females individually, as an index of general activity. Second, I video recorded couples of males and females during courtship and mating. Investigating the details of behaviors during these critical times in the biology of this pest could provide very important information on when and/or how to target management efforts in the field.
|Advisor:||Lewis, Edwin E., Zalom, Frank G.|
|School:||University of California, Davis|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Entomology, Behavioral psychology, Agriculture|
|Keywords:||Circadian rhythms, Mating, Photoperiod, Reproduction, Sex pheromone, Sexual behavior|
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