Melon Fly Eradication by Overflooding with Sterile Flies

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The melon fly, Dacus cucurbitae Coquillett, was eradicated from the 33-sq-mile island of Rota, M. I., by the release of 257 million flies irradiated as pupae with 9.5 kr from a cobalt 60 source. Pupae were produced in Hawaii and air shipped 3800 miles. Releases were made from both air and ground at weekly intervals between September 1962 and July 1963. They were preceded by low-cost applications of concentrated protein hydrolyzate-malathion bait sprays, limited to about 20 of the principal flyproducing sites. Predators, off-island drift, and shorter life of boxed flies reduced the efficiency of the releases. Fruit infestations disappeared late in December 1962 and none occurred in 1963. Sterile eggs were found until the end of February 1963. Sterile flies of both sexes congregated in host plantings, the same as wild flies, but sting damage by females was far less per female than by wild individuals. Some sterile flies of each sex lived 4 months after the last release.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1965

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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