Effects of methyl eugenol feeding on mating compatibility of Asian population of Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae) with African population and with B. carambolae.
Males of some species included in the Bactrocera dorsalis complex are strongly attracted to methyl eugenol (ME) (1,2-dimethoxy-4-(2-propenyl) benzene), a natural compound occurring in a variety of plant species. ME feeding of males of the B. dorsalis complex is known to enhance their mating competitiveness. Within B. dorsalis, recent studies show that Asian and African populations of B. dorsalis are sexually compatible, while populations of B. dorsalis and Bactrocera carambolae are relatively incompatible. The objectives of this study were to examine whether ME feeding by males affects mating compatibility between Asian and African populations of B. dorsalis and ME feeding reduces male mating incompatibility between B. dorsalis (Asian population) and B. carambolae. The data confirmed that Asian and African populations of B. dorsalis are sexually compatible for mating and showed that ME feeding only increased the number of matings. Though ME feeding also increased the number of matings of B. dorsalis (Asian population) and B. carambolae males but the sexual incompatibility between both species was not reduced by treatment with ME. These results conform to the efforts resolving the biological species limits among B. dorsalis complex and have implications for fruit fly control programs in fields and horticultural trade.