Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/15/2003
Publication Date: 7/30/2003
Citation: Vera, M.T., Cladera, J.L., Calcagno, G., Vilardi, J.C., Mcinnis, D.O., and Field Working Group. 2003. Remating of wild ceratitis capitata (diptera: tephritidae) females mated with wild or laboratory males during a single day in field cages. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 96:563-570.
Interpretive Summary: Improving the quality of mass-produced and released sterile flies remains a very high priority for program officials in national and foreign SIT (sterile insect technique) programs. One quality factor of critical importance is the mating competitiveness of the released sterile males. These males must successfully find and mate with wild females in order for the method to work properly. After such a successful mating, wild females should ideally not remate at higher than normal rates, and especially not remate with wild males more so than with sterile males. These parameters of remating behavior in wild females was examined in a field cage study in Argentina with the Mediterranean fruit fly. The results of that study were that, on average, 12% of mated females remated over the course of the 10-hr field cage studies during a single day of testing. Females tended to remate more if their first mating was with a sterile male than with a wild male. In addition, females remated more when first mated with irradiated laboratory males compared to non-irradiated males. This study provides a method by which specific quality control remating tests can be implemented in SIT programs to maintain high quality in released flies.
Technical Abstract: The remating behavior of wild Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) females was examined after first mating to males from the wild or to one of two genetic sexing strains: Cast 191 (irradiated or non-irradiated males) or Seib 6-96 (irradiated males only). The observations were carried out in field cages set over a rooted host tree, during a continuous period of 10 hrs in which females were individually identified. On average, 12% of females remated. Remating was more frequent if females had previously mated with a laboratory male than with a wild male. It was observed that females that remated tended to start and end their first mating earlier than those females that did not remate, and the first mating of the former was shorter than that of the latter. However, there was no difference in copula duration between remater and non-remater females that first mated to wild males. Females mated initially to wild males showed the longest average refractory period and the ones mated to Cast 191 irradiated males the shortest. Females first mated to Cast 191 non-irradiated and Seib 6-96 irradiated males showed intermediate values. The refractory period of females mated to Cast 191 irradiated males was significantly shorter than the observed values for Cast 191 non-irradiated males, indicating that the irradiation process affected the refractory period. It is expected that the methodology used in this study can prove useful for routine quality control tests in medfly mass-rearing facilities.