Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #197646

Title: Influence of a juvenile hormone analog and dietary protein on male Anastrepha suspensa (Diptera:Tephritidae) sexual success

item Pereira, Rui
item Sivinski, John
item Teal, Peter

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/8/2009
Publication Date: 2/1/2010
Citation: Pereira, R., Sivinski, J.M., Teal, P.E. 2010. Influence of a juvenile hormone analog and dietary protein on male Anastrepha suspensa (Diptera:Tephritidae) sexual success. Journal of Economic Entomology. 103(1): 40-46.

Interpretive Summary: Fruit flies infest hundreds of fruits and vegetables, and cause trade barriers wherever they occur. The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is an important means of controlling these pests in the USA and abroad. It is critical to SIT that the mass-reared and sterilized males destined for mass-release be attractive to wild females and are able to compete with wild males. Scientists at the USDA-ARS Center for medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, Florida examined means of increasing male Caribbean fruit fly sexual performance. They found that the addition of protein to adult diets and the application of juvenile hormone increased the numbers of copulations males obtained on a daily and life-time basis. When these techniques were both applied the resulting sexual success was additive. These means of treating mass-reared flies promise to much improve the efficacy of SIT for a number of domestic and potentially invasive pest fruit flies.

Technical Abstract: Juvenile hormone analog levels and adult diet have important effects on the sexual attractiveness and competitiveness of the male Anastrepha suspensa (Loew) (Caribbean fruit fly). Since the success of the sterile insect technique requires the release of males that can compete in the wild, these effects are of crucial importance. Laboratory and field cage experiments were conducted to compare male sexual performance on a life time and daily basis when submitted to four different treatments: (M+P+) application of the juvenile hormone analog, methoprene (M) and sugar and hydrolyzed yeast as adult food; (M+P-) application of M and sugar as adult food; (M-P+) no application of M and sugar and hydrolyzed protein as adult food; and (M-P-) no application of M and sugar as adult food. On a daily basis, M+P+ males were more likely to copulate and 10% of these individuals were able to mate 3 consecutive times in the same day. Copula duration decreased with the increased number of matings on same day. In addition, M caused earlier maturation. On a life-time basis, M+P+ males had significantly greater sexual success than other flies. The substantial improvement in male sexual performance due to the hormone application, protein supply, and the interaction of methoprene and protein has the potential of producing more efficacious sterile males.