Effect of Adult Diet on Longevity of Sterile Mediterranean Fruit Flies (Diptera: Tephritidae)

James D. Barry, Susan B. Opp, Julia Dragolovich, Joseph G. Morse


Fly longevity is critical to sterile release programs for Mediterranean fruit flies (medflies) because the longer sterile flies are present after a release, the greater the probability of mating. Current release programs provide sterile, adult medflies with sucrose in an agar matrix for 2-3 d before release. We used cages to compare the effects of different diets on the longevity of medfly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann). A diet of dry hydrolyzed yeast + sucrose supplied during the pre-release interval did not significantly affect field survivorship of medfly adult males relative to the standard sucrose diet. Post-release diets, simulating nitrogen and sugar sources that released medflies may find after release, had significant effects on medfly survivorship. Hydrolyzed yeast + sucrose resulted in the highest medfly survivorship, followed by sucrose, and then water alone. Finally, diets containing hydrolyzed yeast were not found to have significant amounts of protein and thus are more likely nitrogen or amino acid sources for flies, rather than sources of protein.

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