Egg depositional rates of onion flies, Delia antiqua (Meigen), injected thoracically with extracts of male paragonial glands were identical (14.5 eggs/female/ day) to those of normally mated females. Moreover, when continuously exposed to males, extract-injected females refused to mate and produced unfertilized eggs for the duration of the > 15- day experiment. For this normally monocoitic dipteran, <1 male equiv of paragonial secretion completely reproduced the ovipositional responses characteristic of normal mating, and this effect required no involvement of the genitalia or genital chamber. We suggest that the receptor for the active chemical (s) (sex peptide?) would be an excellent target for biorational insect control by sterilization. Moreover, these primer sex pheromones might play an important role in insect reproductive isolation and evolution.
- mating receptivity
- sex peptide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science