Effect of Acclimation to Outdoor Conditions on the Sexual Performance of Mass-produced Medflies (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Rui Pereira, Natalia Silva, Celio Quintal, Ruben Abreu, Jordan Andrade, Luis Dantas

Abstract


Application of the sterile insect technique (SIT) as part of integrated area-wide programs to control the Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly) Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) require that the released males attract wild females and transfer sterile sperm. However, knowledge about male sexual performance after they are released is scarce. We conducted a study to evaluate male sexual performance in field cage tests, according to standard quality control procedures. Mass-reared 5-d-old sterile males from the genetic sexing strain VIENNA 7mix2000 were acclimated for 0, 1, and 3 d to outdoor conditions before competing with wild males for wild females. Although the proportion of mating (PM) in the test was satisfactory, the resulting relative sterility index (RSI) data showed no significant differences among the treatments. The data indicate that pre-conditioning males to outdoor conditions in Madeira did not confer an advantage in field cage sexual performance.

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