Ovarian response to resource availability in female Rhagoletis indifferens.
Senger, S.E., Roitberg, B.D., and Thistlewood, H.M.A. (2008). "Ovarian response to resource availability in female Rhagoletis indifferens.", Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 129(1), pp. 26-31. doi : 10.1111/j.1570-7458.2008.00734.x
Fitness trade-offs in behavioural ecology theory suggest that the costs associated with dispersal can impact reproductive output, but evidence of dispersal-reproduction trade-offs is often lacking. We present evidence of Rhagoletis indifferens Curran (Diptera: Tephritidae) developing its egg load in response to host availability [Prunus avium L. (Rosaceae)] and link this to our previous work on flight behaviour through the common methodology of these two studies. We replicated the study design from the flight mill experiment, such that females were maintained in one of six possible treatments combining two factors: social interactions (crowded vs. isolated) and resources (food = food only; leaf = food + leaf; and cherry = food + leaf + fruit), and then dissected the females to determine egg load. Egg counts varied significantly with 'crowded' females and those in the 'cherry' resource treatments producing the most mature eggs. Although the average mature egg count for females from the 'leaf' and 'food' resource treatments was similar, these two groups differed in the proportion of females that produced no mature eggs at all. No significant interaction terms between the factors tested were generated. We conclude that the effect of social interactions and resources on the maturation of eggs is additive in R. indifferens. These results support those of an earlier flight mill experiment and provide evidence that egg load may trade off with dispersal ability in R. indifferens.