Submitted to: Journal of Applied Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/24/2008
Publication Date: 12/1/2008
Citation: Faria, M.J., Pereira, R., Dellinger, T., Teal, P.E. 2008. Influence of methoprene and protein on survival, maturation and sexual performance of male Ceratitis capitata (Diptera:Tephritidae). Journal of Applied Entomology. 132:812-819. Interpretive Summary: The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is used internationally to control populations of the Mediterranean fruit fly, a highly destructive pest of a large variety of fruits and vegetables. SIT requires the release of sterile males able to survive on the field, to compete with wild males, and attract and mate with wild females. Scientists from the Universidade da Madeira, the IAEA/FAO and Center for Medical Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, USDA-ARS, Gainesville Florida, tested the hypothesis that improved nutrition and hormone therapy, using a hormone known to improve reproductive potential in other species of fruit flies, would increase efficacy of SIT using the Mediterranean fruit fly. The results of the study indicated that improved adult diets containing protein increased performance of sterile males but that hormone therapy had no effect. The results are significant because it provides mass rearing operations with concrete data that protein will improve efficacy of sterile males butt hat hormone therapy for this species is unwarranted.
Technical Abstract: The Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly), Ceratitis capitata (Wied.), like many other polifagous tephritids (Diptera: Tephritidae), adopts a lek as mating system. The sterile insect technique (SIT) requires the release of sterile males able to survive on the field, to compete with wild males, and attract and mate with wild females. The effect of the juvenile hormone analog, methoprene, and the incorporation of hydrolyzed yeast (protein source) in the adult diet, on survival, sexual maturation and sexual performance of male C. capitata were evaluated for all the four possible factor combinations (methoprene-treated or methoprene-untreated, and protein-fed or protein-deprived). The incorporation of protein had a positive impact on survival and accelerates the sexual maturation. In the laboratory, the male sexual performance was significantly higher in treatments with methoprene. However, field cage tests did not show any effect of each of the factors on male sexual performance. The increase in survival and the earlier sexual maturation of sterile males due to the addition of protein to the adult diet can influence positively the efficacy of the SIT.