Submitted to: Fruit Flies of Economic Importance International Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 3, 2006
Publication Date: September 12, 2006
Citation: Kendra, P.E., Montgomery, W.S., Epsky, N.D., Heath, R.R. 2006. Ovarian development in the caribbean fruit fly, anastrepha suspensa (diptera: tephritidae). International Symposium on Fruit Flies of Economic Importance Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Technical Abstract: Reliable methods are needed for assessing sexual maturity in field-caught tephritid fruit flies. To provide such a tool for female Caribbean fruit flies, Anastrepha suspensa (Loew), we documented changes in ovarian development over a four-week period following adult eclosion. The ovarian maturation process was classified into six developmental stages. Stages 1-4 described sequential steps in the development of immature ovaries, stage 5 indicated presence of mature oocytes, and stage 6 was the ovipositional phase. For each stage, four morphometric characters were examined – ovary length, ovary width, an ovarian index (ovary length multiplied by ovary width), and length of terminal follicle. Ovarian characters were compared by stage and correlated with the number of mature oocytes per ovary (egg load). Ovarian index maximized the differences between sexually mature and immature ovaries, and ovary length provided the best separation of immature stages. All four characters were positively correlated with egg load, but ovarian index and ovary width were the two best indicators of mature oocytes. Use of these parameters to assess egg load eliminates the need to tease apart ovaries and count mature oocytes, thereby providing an efficient method for processing large samples of flies. Currently, we are using the six-stage ovary classification system, in conjunction with assessment of egg load in mature stages, to evaluate the physiological age structure of Anastrepha populations captured in field-deployed traps.