We describe the daily activity patterns of resting, feeding, oviposition and mating of adult Rhagoletis turpiniae Hernández (Diptera: Tephritidae), a recently described fruit fly species from Mexico that inhabits both tropical evergreen rain and temperate cloud forests. We also compare certain mating behaviors of R. turpiniae, R. pomonella (Walsh) and R. zoqui Bush. Studies were performed under natural, field-cage and laboratory conditions. In natural settings, i.e., trees of Turpinia insignis (H.B. & K.) Tul. (Staphyleaceae) significantly more males (n = 1,059) than females (n = 178) were observed, mostly on the lower part of the host fruit (because flies were not marked, these numbers likely include resightings of the same individual over time). Only a few adults (1.13%) were observed feeding in the host plant. Of the 70 ovipositions observed, 88.9% were recorded in unripe fruits, and 11.1% took place in semiripe or ripe fruits. Greatest oviposition activity (egglaying and aculeus-dragging behavior) was observed between 1000 and 1100 hours. There was a significant positive correlation between fruit size and number of larvae in a fruit. The greatest proportion of matings (n = 89) occurred between 1100 and 1600 hours and took place on the fruit. Mean copulation duration under natural conditions was 41.78 ± 1.77 min. Studies carried out in field cages and under laboratory conditions confirmed that the “resource defense polygyny” mating system characteristic of other Rhagoletis species is also present in R. turpiniae. Under highly artificial laboratory conditions R. turpiniae females mated, on average, 10.47 ± 0.4 times, whereas R. pomonella and R. zoqui females mated, on average, 4.17 ± 0.6 and 1.61 ± 0.3 times, respectively. The maximum number of matings of a single female in one observation day was 15, 14, and 5 in R. turpiniae, R. pomonella and R. zoqui, respectively.
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Vol. 94 • No. 2