Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Priscilla Erickson


This thesis examines the reproductive traits of Zaprionus indianus, an invasive species to the United States, to assess the possibility of rapid evolution. Significant differences in fecundity and diapause incidence have been seen in other Drosophilid fly species across the seasonal transition, from early to late season, and across the latitudinal gradient, from north to south. For this reason, fecundity, the reproductive ability of a female fly, and diapause incidence, a stress-induced reproductive arrest, were selected as variables of choice. Field collections and experiments revealed unexpected patterns in fecundity and diapause incidence, challenging initial hypotheses. While no significant differences in fecundity were observed between seasons, some surprising significant differences were found in latitudinal fecundity. Additionally, subtle non-significant trends in diapause incidence mirror those seen in Drosophila melanogaster and suggest potential beginnings of adaptive responses to environmental cues. These findings underscore the complexity of invasive species interactions and reveal some of the ecology of these newly invasive fruit flies.

Available for download on Thursday, May 08, 2025

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