True fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) include over 4000 species, many of which constitute enormous threats to fruit and vegetable production worldwide. A number of Tephritidae are lekking species, forming aggregations in which males fight to defend a small territory where they court females and mate. Male-male contests also occur in non-lekking species, characterized by resource defense polygyny. Tephritidae females display agonistic behavior to maintain single oviposition sites and reduce larval competition for food. Here, how, where, when and why aggressive interactions occur in Tephritidae flies is reviewed. A number of neglected issues deserving further research are highlighted, with a special focus on diel periodicity of aggression, cues evoking aggressive behavior, the role of previous experience on fighting success and the evolution of behavioral lateralization of aggressive displays. In the final section, future directions to exploit this knowledge in Integrated Pest Management, with particular emphasis on enhancement of Sterile Insect Technique and interspecific competitive displacement in the field are suggested.
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