Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/12/2002
Publication Date: 1/30/2003
Citation: Barry, J.D., Shelly, T.E., Mcinnis, D.O., Morse, J.G. 2003. Potential for reducing overflooding ratios of sterile mediterranean fruit flies (diptera: tephritidae) with the use of ginger root oil. Florida Entomologist. 86:29-33. Interpretive Summary: The sterile insect technique, or SIT, is dependent upon the competitiveness of the released sterile males in mating with wild females. Efforts to improve the mating fitness of sterile males have been undertaken around the world, and are always a high priority. One promising development is the research with ginger root oil as an aromatherapy treatment for the Mediterranean fruit fly in SIT programs. A study in Hawaii was conducted to evaluate the degree of improvement in sterile male mating fitness in relation to the ratio of sterile males to wild males in field cage tests. Results indicated that sterile males treated with a pre-release exposure to ginger root oil, can perform as well in mating as untreated males at a higher ratio of ca. 5:1, sterile to wild. This indicates that SIT programs may be able to significantly reduce the numbers of sterile males released, under conditions where the males are pre-treated with ginger root oil.
Technical Abstract: The mating behavior of sterile, laboratory-reared, male Mediterranean fruit flies, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), was evaluated in field-cage mating competition tests with wild flies after exposing the lab males to ginger root oil extract. Without exposure to ginger root oil, sterile males obtained 12.6%, 69%, and 72.8% of the total matings with wild females when present in 1:1, 5:1, and 10:1 ratios of sterile males to wild males, respectively. Sterile males, exposed to ginger root oil for 3 hrs one day before mating trials in a 1:1 ratio with wild males, achieved 62.3% of the matings with wild females. These data suggest that exposure to ginger oil can elevate sterile male mating competitiveness to a similar degree as elevated ratios of sterile to wild males. Incorporating the use of ginger root oil extract into sterile release programs may thus increase the effectiveness of the sterile insect technique, and/or allow a reduction in the number of sterile flies that are released.