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 #309241

Research Project: Biologically-based Technologies for Management of Crop Insect Pests in Local and Areawide Programs

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: Costly nutritious diets do not necessarily translate into better performance of artificaially reared fruit files (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Author
item Pascacio-villafan, C - Institute De Ecologia - Mexico
item Williams, T - Institute De Ecologia - Mexico
item Sivinski, John
item Birke, A - Institute De Ecologia - Mexico
item Aluja, M - Institute De Ecologia - Mexico

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/3/2014
Publication Date: 2/3/2015
Citation: Pascacio-Villafan, C., Williams, T., Sivinski, J.M., Birke, A., Aluja, M. 2015. Costly nutritious diets do not necessarily translate into better performance of artificaially reared fruit files (Diptera: Tephritidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 108(1):53-59.

Interpretive Summary: Diets are one of the most expensive components of insect rearing. When millions or billions of insects are produced every week for Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) or augmentative release programs optimizing diets can have result in substantial savings. Several diets used to rear Mexican fruit flies in various facilities and with different nutrient contents were compared in terms of larval survival, pupation, pupal weight, adult emergence, sex ratio and flight capacity. In general, there were few differences among the insects that developed on the diets and these tended to be relatively minor. It appears that costly nutrients in some A. ludens’ diets can be reduced without compromising product performance.

Technical Abstract: Protein, lipid, carbohydrate and energy contents of three artificial diets (Xal2, Met1 and Met2) used for laboratory-rearing and mass-rearing the Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens (Loew), for a sterile insect technique (SIT) program were measured. The larval survival, pupation, pupal weight, adult emergence, sex ratio and flight capacity of the flies reared on each of these diets were also quantified. The diet with the highest nutrient and energy content was Xal2 followed by Met2 and Met1, but larval recovery and percent pupation was significantly higher in flies reared on either the Met1 or Met2 diets. Anastrepha ludens reared on Xal2 exhibited the highest proportion of adults capable of flight. No other response variable differed significantly among the three diets tested. This suggests that a high content of nutrients and multiple sources of protein (dried yeast and wheat germ in the case of the Xal2 diet) do not necessarily improve overall performance or fly quality. We conclude that nutritious diets for A. ludens can be modified to reduce their cost without compromising the performance of artificially reared flies.