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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Assessment of Female Reproductive Status in Anastrepha Suspensa (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Authors
item Kendra, Paul
item Montgomery, Wayne
item Epsky, Nancy
item Heath, Robert

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 7, 2006
Publication Date: June 28, 2006
Citation: Kendra, P.E., Montgomery, W.S., Epsky, N.D., Heath, R.R. 2006. Assessment of female reproductive status in anastrepha suspensa (diptera: tephritidae). Florida Entomologist. 89(2):144-151.

Interpretive Summary: The Caribbean fruit fly is an important agricultural pest in Florida, impacting production and marketability of citrus, guava, and other tropical fruits. As a result, research efforts have focused on development of effective trapping systems for detection of this and related pest species. Previously, scientists at the Subtropical Horticulture Research Station have developed ammonia-based synthetic lures for monitoring fruit flies. Recent laboratory findings indicate that response of female flies to ammonia depends upon age, and different doses of ammonia may be attracting flies of different ages. Testing this hypothesis in the field requires a method for determining the maturity status of field-caught flies. The most reliable method entails careful dissection of the ovaries, examination under high magnification, and confirmation of mature eggs. However, this is not practical for evaluating large samples. To provide such as tool for the Caribbean fruit fly, this study examined several ovarian characters ' ovary length, ovary width, an ovary index (length x width), and length of terminal follicle. Changes in these characters were documented over a three week period following adult emergence. These characters were then correlated with the number of mature eggs per ovary (egg load). Ovarian index was the most reliable indicator of mature eggs, but for processing a large number of flies, measurements of ovary width would provide a practical means for assessing female reproductive status. This method would facilitate evaluation of the age structure of a fly population captured in field traps.

Technical Abstract: At adult eclosion female Tephritid fruit flies are sexually immature and need to forage for resources to attain reproductive maturity. Many factors regulate the ovarian maturation process, including environmental conditions and availability of food. As a result, physiological or developmental age is not equivalent to chronological age. Reliable methods are needed to assess physiological state and ascertain sexual maturity status. The most reliable method entails careful dissection of ovaries, examination under high magnification, and confirmation of mature oocytes. This procedure is not practical for evaluating large samples of field caught specimens. To provide such as tool for the Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa (Loew), this study examined several ovarian morphometric characters ' length of ovary, width of ovary, an ovary index (length x width of ovary), and length of terminal follicle. Changes in these characters were documented over a three week period following adult eclosion. These characters were then correlated with the number of mature oocytes per ovary (egg load). Ovarian index was the most reliable indicator of mature oocytes, but for processing a large number of flies, measurements of ovary width would provide an appropriate assessment of reproductive status. This method would facilitate evaluation of the age structure of a fly population captured in field deployed traps.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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