Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/30/2003
Publication Date: 12/30/2003
Citation: Shelly, T.E., Rendon, P., Hernandez, E., Salgado, S., Mcinnis, D.O., Villalobos, E., Liedo, P. 2003. Effects of diet, ginger root oil, and elevation on the mating competitiveness of male mediterranean fruit flies from a mass-reared genetic sexing strain in guatemala (diptera: tephritidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 96:1132-1141.
Interpretive Summary: Research continues to improve the effectiveness of the sterile insect release method. The field quality of released flies is critical to success of the technique. One recent advance for the programs involving the Mediterranean fruit fly is the introduction of aromatherapy to stimulate mating of released males and allow them to compete more effectively with wild males in the field. In a study conducted in Guatemala, Central America, a series of evaluations were made of the effectiveness of ginger root oil as an aromatherapeutic treatment of the sterile males prior to release. Sterile males were maintained on either a protein and sugar diet, or just a sugar diet, and were either exposed to ginger root oil for 4 hr, 1 day prior to testing, or not exposed. Flies were tested in field cages for mating ability at either high (1,500m) or low (700m) field sites. Sterile flies mated better at the lower elevation when in competition with wild males, and ginger root oil had a significant beneficial effect to stimulate sterile fly mating at both elevations. Diet did not have any significant overall effect on mating ability of sterile males.
Technical Abstract: The release of sterile males is a key component of an areawide program to eradicate the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), from Guatemala and southern Mexico. The objective of our study was to assess the effects of adult diet, exposure to ginger root oil (Zingther officinale Roscoe), and elevation on the mating competitiveness of the sterile males used in an areawide program. Sterile males were maintained on a protein-sugar (protein-fed) or a sugar-only (protein-deprived) diet and were exposed (for + h 1 d before testing) or not exposed to ginger root oil. In field-cage trials conducted at a high (1,500 m) and low (700 m) site, we monitored the influences of these treatments on the mating success of sterile males in competition with wild males (reared exclusively on the protein-sugar diet and without ginger root oil exposure) for wild females. Elevation and ginger root oil exposure had significant effects, with sterile males having higher mating success at the low-elevation site and ginger root oil-exposed males having greater success than ginger root oil-deprived males at both sites. Diet did not have a significant overall effect, and its influence varied with elevation (dietary protein seemed to provide an advantage at the high-elevation site but not at the low-elevation site). Possible implications of these findings for eradication programs against the Mediterranean fruit fly are discussed.