Ecological drivers and sex-based variation in body size and shape in the Queensland fruit fly, bactrocera tryoni (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Yufei Zhou*, Juanita Rodriguez, Nicole Fisher, Renee A. Catullo

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni; Q-fly) is an Australian endemic horticultural pest species, which has caused enormous economic losses. It has the potential to expand its range to currently Q-fly-free areas and poses a serious threat to the Australian horticultural industry. A large number of studies have investigated the correlation between environmental factors and Q-fly development, reproduction, and expansion. However, it is still not clear how Q-fly morphological traits vary with the environment. Our study focused on three morphological traits (body size, wing shape, and fluctuating asymmetry) in Q-fly samples collected from 1955 to 1965. We assessed how these traits vary by sex, and in response to latitude, environmental variables, and geographic distance. First, we found sexual dimorphism in body size and wing shape, but not in fluctuating asymmetry. Females had a larger body size but shorter and wider wings than males, which may be due to reproductive and/or locomotion differences between females and males. Secondly, the body size of Q-flies varied with latitude, which conforms to Bergmann’s rule. Finally, we found Q-fly wing shape was more closely related to temperature rather than aridity, and low temperature and high aridity may lead to high asymmetry in Q-fly populations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number390
    Pages (from-to)1-15
    Number of pages15
    JournalInsects
    Volume11
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

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