Size as a Factor in the Mating Propensity of Mediterranean Fruit Flies, Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae), in the Laboratory

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We show that body size of nonirradiated, laboratory-reared Mediterranean fruit flies, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), is an important factor in mating success. With pupal weight as the estimate of size, 8- and g-mg flies were optimum in mating success, followed in decreasing order by 6- and 4-mg flies. Mating frequency was generally reduced when females were larger than males. However, mating frequency was generally equal when males were of equal or larger sizes than females. The percentages of adults eclosing, flying, and mating, as well as mating speed were positively correlated with increased pupal size. Relevance of these data to a final analysis of the sterile-insect technique (SIT) phase of the California Mediterranean Fruit Fly Eradication Program is discussed along with suggested practical application for use in future SIT programs against C. capitata. A table of wing measurements is also provided for correlation of wing dimensions (length and width) to pupal weight (mg) for trapped wild C. capitata as a basis for size determination of sterile insects to be used in an eradication program.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1986

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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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