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Quality Control Method to Measure Predator Evasion in Wild and Mass-Reared Mediterranean Fruit Flies (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Martha A. Hendrichs, Viwat Wornoayporn, Byron Katsoyannos and Jorge Hendrichs
The Florida Entomologist
Vol. 90, No. 1 (Mar., 2007), pp. 64-70
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4151139
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Quality Control Method to Measure Predator Evasion in Wild and Mass-Reared Mediterranean Fruit Flies (Diptera: Tephritidae)
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Abstract

Sterile male insects, mass-reared and released as part of sterile insect technique (SIT) programs, must survive long enough in the field to mature sexually and compete effectively with wild males for wild females. An often reported problem in Mediterranean fruit fly (med-fly) Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) SIT programs is that numbers of released sterile males decrease rapidly in the field for various reasons, including losses to different types of predators. This is a serious issue in view that most operational programs release sterile flies at an age when they are still immature. Previous field and field-cage tests have confirmed that flies of laboratory strains are less able to evade predators than wild flies. Such tests involve, however, considerable manipulation and observation of predators and are therefore not suitable for routine measurements of predator evasion. Here we describe a simple quality control method with aspirators to measure agility in medflies and show that this parameter is related to the capacity of flies to evade predators. Although further standardization of the test is necessary to allow more accurate inter-strain comparisons, results confirm the relevance of measuring predator evasion in mass-reared medfly strains. Besides being a measure of this sterile male quality parameter, the described method could be used for the systematic selection of strains with a higher capacity for predator evasion. /// Insectos machos estériles criados en forma masiva para ser liberados en programas que utilizan la técnica del insecto estéril (TIE), tienen que tener la capacidad de sobrevivir en el campo el tiempo necesario para poder madurar sexualmente y competir efectivamente con los machos silvestres por hembras silvestres. Un problema frecuentemente reportado por dichos programas de la mosca del Mediterráneo, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), es que el número de machos estériles de laboratorio liberados en el campo, decrecen rápidamente por varias razones, incluyendo pérdidas debidas a diferentes tipos de depredadores. Estudios anteriores conducidos en el campo, y en jaulas de campo, han confirmado que las cepas de machos de laboratorio tienen menos capacidad de evadir depredadores que los machos silvestres. Estos estudios involucran, sin embargo, una considerable cantidad de manipulación y observación de depredadores, por lo que no son adecuados para ser usados como medidas rutinarias en los programas de cría masiva. Aquí describimos un método sencillo de control de calidad usando aspiradores para medir agilidad en la mosca del Mediterráneo y mostramos que este parámetro esta relacionado a la capacidad de la moscas a evadir a depredadores. Aunque aún es necesario refinar la estandarización de éste método para permitir la comparación entre cepas, los resultados confirman la importancia de tener un método rutinario para medir la capacidad de evasión de depredadores en cepas de cría de laboratorio de la mosca del Mediterráneo. Además de medir este parámetro de control de calidad de los machos estériles, el método descrito podría también ser usado para la selección sistemática de cepas con una mayor capacidad de evasión de depredadores.

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