• cue-lure;
  • male lures;
  • offspring effects;
  • sexual selection;
  • zingerone


Phytochemical lures such as methyl eugenol (ME) and cue-lure are used in the management of Bactrocera fruit flies for monitoring and control. These lures are not just attractants, but also trigger physiological changes in males that lead to enhanced mating success. Additionally, in the cue-lure-responsive Bactrocera tryoni, females mated with lure-fed males exhibit changes in fecundity, remating receptivity and longevity. While the lures show current generation effects, no research has been carried out on possible multigenerational effects, although such effects have been hypothesized within a ‘sexy-son’ sexual selection model. In this study, we test for indirect, cross-generational effects of lure exposure in F1offspring of B. tryoni females mated with cue-lure-fed, zingerone-fed and lure-unfed (=control) males. The F1 attributes we recorded were immature development time, immature survival, adult survival and adult male lure foraging. No significant differences were found between treatments for any of the three life-history measurements, except that the offspring sired by zingerone-fed males had a longer egg development time than cue-lure and control offspring. However, indirect exposure to lures significantly enhanced the lure-foraging ability of F1 adult males. More offspring of cue-lure-fed males arrived at a lure source in both large flight cages and small laboratory cages over a 2-h period than did control males. The offspring of zingerone-fed males were generally intermediate between cue-lure and control offspring. This study provides the first evidence of a next generation effect of fruit fly male lures. While the results of this study support a ‘sexy-son’ sexual selection mechanism for the evolution of lure response in Bactrocera fruit flies, our discussion urges caution in interpreting our results in this way.