MATING AND REMATING OF MEDFLIES (DIPTERA: TEPHRITIDAE) IN GUATEMALA: INDIVIDUAL FLY MARKING IN FIELD CAGES
AbstractThe sterile insect technique (SIT) depends critically upon the ability of sterilized, released males to locate and mate with wild females. The overall efficiency of the method also depends upon the relative frequencies of remating by wild females following first matings to laboratory or wild males. Using a newly devised technique that individually marks the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), a field cage study was undertaken in a Guatemala coffee orchard to record individual fly mating behaviors between each of several laboratory strain and coffee-reared wild flies. Five laboratory strains were tested - a genetic sexing strain examined in sex ratios between 50%-100% sterile males, two standard bisexual strains, and two F1 hybrid strains. The marking technique revealed a substantial amount of information on individual fly mating and remating. Wild male flies significantly outcompeted each of the lab strains in the first matings with both wild and lab females. Approx. 22% and 3% of wild males and females, respectively, remated in the field cages during two consecutive morning observation periods, while 4-8% of lab males, and 2-8% of lab females remated, respectively. Male flies from each lab strain averaged significantly shorter copulation times than wild males. Female flies, either lab or wild, tended to remate more often if they first mated to a lab male, but the differences were not statistically significant. An index was devised to provide a measure of relative male mating quality. Wild males tended to have higher individual index values than lab strain males. Average values of the latter ranged from ca. half to roughly equal that of wild males.
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