Consistency in courtship pattern among populations of Medfly (Diptera: Tephritidae): comparisons among wild strains and strains mass reared for SIT Operations

  • S. A. Lux
  • F. N. Munyiri
  • J. C. Vilardi
  • P. Liedo
  • A. Economopoulos
  • O. Hasson
  • S. Quilici
  • K. Gaggle
  • J. P. Cayol
  • P. Rendon


The objective of the study was to compare courtship behavior of various wild and mass reared medfly strains, in order to document the degree of diversity in courtship behavior among medfly populations and to assess its implications for strategy of application of the Sterile Insect Technique. Recordings of medfly courtship behavior were collected from several locations world-wide using a standard protocol. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of the collected behavioral materials was conducted. No major differences were found among the strains both in male and female behavioral repertoire, which indicates general lack of behavioral incompatibility among the strains studied. However, the analysis revealed several qualitative and quantitative differences in courtship details among locations. The females from Madeira strain were more “choosy” then those from other strains, rejecting male courtship most frequently in spite of the fact that the males from this strain displayed their courtship activities in the most expressed manner. It has been suggested, therefore, that development of an efficient strain for world-wide application shall be based on the most competitive strains (such as Madeira strain), and only individuals with the most pronounced pattern of male courtship should be selected as founders.

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