A high reproductive potential is one reason for the rapid spread of Drosophila suzukii
in Europe and in the United States. In order to identify mechanisms that mediate mating and reproduction in D. suzukii
we studied the fly’s reproductive behavior, diurnal mating activity and sexual maturation. Furthermore, we studied the change of female cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) with age and conducted a preliminary investigation on the role of female-derived chemical signals in male mating behavior. Sexual behavior in D. suzukii
is characterized by distinct elements of male courtship leading to female acceptance for mating. Time of day and age modulate D. suzukii
mating activity. As with other drosophilids, female sexual maturity is paralleled by a quantitative increase in CHCs. Neither female CHCs nor other olfactory signals were required to induce male courtship, however, presence of those signals significantly increased male sexual behavior. With this pilot study we hope to stimulate research on the reproductive biology of D. suzukii
, which is relevant for the development of pest management tools.
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