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J Insect Physiol. 2009 Apr;55(4):328-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2008.12.010. Epub 2009 Jan 29.

Influence of methoprene and dietary protein on male Anastrepha suspensa (Diptera:Tephritidae) mating aggregations.

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  • 1Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.


The Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa (Loew), like many polyphagous tephritids, exhibits a lek polygyny mating system, and juvenile hormone levels and adult diet are known to have important positive effects on male sexual success. Among the potential components of this success are male lek tenure and female response to the sexual signals of lekking males. Male A. suspensa where submitted to four different treatments: (M(+)P(+)) application of juvenile hormone analog, methoprene (M) and sugar and hydrolyzed yeast as adult food; (M(+)P(-)) application of M and sugar as adult food; (M(-)P(+)) no application of M and sugar and hydrolyzed yeast as adult food; and (M(-)P(-)) no application of M and sugar as adult food. M(+)P(+) males initiated and participated more in aggregations, mated more frequently, and occupied the lek centers more often. They also had fewer unsuccessful mounting attempts than males in all the other treatments. M(+)P(+) males also emitted pheromones and acoustically signaled more often and attracted more females than males in other treatments. Male sexual performance was improved due to methoprene, protein supply, and the interaction of methoprene and protein for most of the parameters. Since the success of the sterile insect technique (SIT), a commonly employed technique to control pest tephritids, requires the release of males that can form leks, engage in agonistic sexual interactions, and attract females, these positive effects of protein and methoprene may substantially improve SIT programs.

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