Mass rearing history and irradiation affect mating performance of the male fruit fly, Anastrepha obliqua

Juan Rull1a*, Nery Encarnación1,2b, and Andrea Birke1c

1Instituto de Ecología, A.C., Apartado Postal 63, 91000 Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
2Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Puebla, Mexico


As an initial step to improve the efficiency of the sterile insect technique applied to eradicate, suppress, and control wild Anastrepha obliqua (Macquart) (Diptera: Tephritidae) in mango producing areas of Mexico, the effect of radiation dose and mass rearing history on male mating performance was examined. Field cage tests in which both male and female laboratory flies were irradiated at different doses (0, 40, and 80 Gy) were released with cohorts of wild flies of both sexes, revealing that both mass rearing history and irradiation affected male mating performance. Laboratory males were accepted for copulation by wild females less frequently than wild males. Copulations involving laboratory males were shorter than those involving wild males. Irradiated males mated less frequently with wild females than wild males, and irradiated females appeared to be less able to reject courting males of both origins. High levels of fertility for untreated laboratory females crossed with males irradiated at different doses may reflect problems in mass rearing affecting homogeneity of pupal age before irradiation, and possibly masked a dose effect. Proposed remedial measures to improve male mating performance are discussed.

Keywords: sterile insect technique, competitiveness, Tephritidae

Abbreviations: SIT, sterile insect technique

Correspondence: a, b, c, *Corresponding author

Editor: Todd Shelly was Editor of this paper.

Received: 11 May 2011 | Accepted: 3 September 2011 | Published: 29 March 2012

ISSN: 1536-2442 | Volume 12, Number 45

Rull J, Encarnación N, Birke A. 2012. Mass rearing history and irradiation affect mating performance of the male fruit fly, Anastrepha obliqua. Journal of Insect Science 12:45 available online:

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