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Bull Entomol Res. 2006 Jun;96(3):259-68.

Contribution of natural food sources to reproductive behaviour, fecundity and longevity of Ceratitis cosyra, C. fasciventris and C. capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae).

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  • 1International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, PO Box 30772, Nairobi, Kenya.


The influence of food sources comprising the natural diet on the reproductive behaviour, fecundity and longevity of three African fruit flies Ceratitis cosyra (Walker), C. fasciventris (Bezzi) and C. capitata (Wiedemann) was investigated. Three natural food sources, varying in protein and sugar content, were evaluated. These included bird droppings (farm chicken), aphid honeydew and guava (Psidium guajava L.) juice. For C. fasciventris and C. capitata, flies fed on a protein-rich diet displayed higher frequency of calling, mating and oviposition than flies fed on a protein-poor diet, whilst for C. cosyra, quality of diet significantly influenced the mating behaviour of the flies, but not the calling and oviposition behaviour. Net fecundity rates were lowest for C. fasciventris and C. capitata when fed only on guava juice (0.1, 2.6 eggs per female, respectively), and higher for those on a diet of honeydew only (9.5, 33.8 eggs per female, respectively) and a combined diet of guava, honeydew and chicken faeces (11.8, 25.8 eggs per female, respectively). For C. cosyra, due to low numbers of eggs collected, no significant differences in fecundity between diets could be detected. All species fed only on a diet of chicken faeces since emergence died within the first three days of adult life without laying eggs, but when carbohydrates were provided by addition of guava juice and honeydew, the longevity of the flies was sustained for more than four weeks after adult emergence. The practical implications of these findings for control purposes are discussed.

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