Sexual Selection on Multivariate Phenotypes in Anastrepha fraterculus (Diptera: Tephritidae) from Argentina

  • Roberta Sciurano
  • Diego Segura
  • Marcela Rodriguero
  • Paula Gomez Cendra
  • Armando Allinghi
  • Jorge L. Cladera
  • Juan Vilardi


Despite the interest in applying environmentally friendly control methods such as sterile insect technique (SIT) against Anastrepha fraterculus (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae), information about its biology, taxonomy, and behavior is still insufficient. To increase this information, the present study aims to evaluate the performance of wild flies under field cage conditions through the study of sexual competitiveness among males (sexual selection). A wild population from Horco Molle, Tucumán, Argentina was sampled. Mature virgin males and females were released into outdoor field cages to compete for mating. Morphometric analyses were applied to determine the relationship between the multivariate phenotype and copulatory success. Successful and unsuccessful males were measured for 8 traits: head width (HW), face width (FW), eye length (EL), thorax length (THL), wing length (WL), wing width (WW), femur length (FL), and tibia length (TIL). Combinations of different multivariate statistical methods and graphical analyses were used to evaluate sexual selection on male phenotype. The results indicated that wing width and thorax length would be the most probable targets of sexual selection. They describe a nonlinear association between expected fitness and each of these 2 traits. This nonlinear relation suggests that observed selection could maintain the diversity related to body size.

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