Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 21, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Sterile flies are used to suppress the Mexican fruit fly in Texas, California, and Mexico. Millions of flies are bred in factories, sterilized, and then released in the citrus growing areas. Wild flies that mate with the sterile flies do not produce progeny. For the most effective application of this technique, managers of the program need to know how far rthe sterile flies disperse and how long they live after release. This research shows that some flies could be found as much as six miles from their release point, but that most flies (95%) remain within 500 yards of where they are released. A few flies lived as long as 22 weeks, but the average life span was only 5-10 days.
Trap-back experiments using McPhail traps were conducted to study dispersal and longevity of mass-reared, sterile, Mexican fruit flies, Anastrepha ludens (Loew). The flies were released at three ecologically different sites in northern Mexico. Some flies were recaptured up to 9 Km from the release point. However, standard distance was estimated using a regression nmodel that indicated 240 meters was the typical dispersal distance. The life expectancy of the released flies from the time of release varied from 5 to 10 days. Greatest longevity, up to 22 weeks, occurred during the winter months.