A Protocol for Storage and Long-distance Shipment of Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) Eggs. I. Effect of Temperature, Embryo Age, and Storage Time on Survival and Quality

Carlos Cceres, Edwin Ramrez, Viwat Wornoayporn, Sheikh Mohammad Islam, Sohel Ahmad


The operational use of Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly) Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), genetic sexing strains in Sterile Insect Technique applications can be maximized by developing methods for effective shipment of eggs. This would enable a central production facility to maintain the relevant mother stocks and large colonies to supply eggs to satellite centers that would mass produce only males for irradiation and release. In order to achieve this, the survival of medfly embryos of different ages was assessed after storage at 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25°C in water for different periods of time. Survival was affected by all 3 variables, i.e., embryo age, water temperature, and length of storage. Storage of embryos at any temperature for 120 h resulted in almost no survival. Controlling the age of the embryo at the time of the temperature treatment is crucial for the success of this procedure. Embryos collected between 0 to 12 h after oviposition and pre-incubated at 25°C for 12 h provide a suitable 72 h window for shipment when maintained between 10 to 15°C. Under these conditions, no significant reductions in survival during all the developmental stages were observed.

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