Assortative Mating and Lack of Temporality Between Corn and Rice Strains of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) from Central Colombia

Clara I. Saldamando-Benjumea, Kelly Estrada-Piedrahíta, María I. Velásquez-Vélez, Richard I. Bailey

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Spodoptera frugiperda is a Neotropical moth that has diverged into “corn” and “rice” strains. In the US, prezygotic isolation studies have shown that both populations mate assortatively. In addition, recent studies have demonstrated that mating by the same strain individuals is enhanced by an allochronic shift in mating activity and male pheromones are important during courtship. In Colombia, studies on mate choice have never been performed previously, although earlier analyses made in populations from Central Colombia showed no significant differences in time of first mating and copula duration between the strains. Here, we performed multiple choice experiments using a tetrad design composed of individuals of the corn and the rice strains. We found that corn strain females rarely mate with rice strain males, but rice strain females mate with both strains of males. In addition, no temporal isolation was found. A ML (maximum likelihood) approach was used to discriminate between mating propensity and mate choice behaviors in S. frugiperda strains. This approach showed that mating propensity of corn strain males is three times greater than rice strain males. In contrast, in females, the propensity of mating was slightly higher for the corn strain. Finally, the isolation index between the corn and the rice strains from Colombia produced a value of I = 0.33. Our results suggest that prezygotic isolation at the behavioral and temporal levels differ between the US and Colombia. Moreover, in the US temporal isolation appears to have an important role in behavioral isolation but in Colombia temporality is not necessary to reduce encounters between S. frugiperda strains.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Early online date12 Apr 2014
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Apr 2014


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