Insect science

Sexual behavior and male volatile compounds in wild and mass-reared strains of the Mexican fruit fly Anastrepha ludens (Diptera: Tephritidae) held under different colony management regimes.

PMID 25339372


We compared the calling and mating behavior and volatile release of wild males Anastrepha ludens (Loew) with males from 4 mass-reared strains: (i) a standard mass-reared colony (control), (ii) a genetic sexing strain (Tap-7), (iii) a colony started from males selected on their survival and mating competitiveness abilities (selected), and (iv) a hybrid colony started by crossing wild males with control females. Selected and wild males were more competitive, achieving more matings under field cage conditions. Mass-reared strains showed higher percentages of pheromone calling males under field conditions except for Tap-7 males, which showed the highest percentages of pheromone calling males under laboratory cage conditions. For mature males of all strains, field-cage calling behavior increased during the last hour before sunset, with almost a 2 fold increase exhibited by wild males during the last half hour. The highest peak mating activity of the 4 mass-reared strains occurred 30 min earlier than for wild males. By means of solid phase microextraction (SPME) plus gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), the composition of volatiles released by males was analyzed and quantified. Wild males emitted significantly less amounts of (E,E)-α-farnesene but emitted significantly more amounts of (E,E)-suspensolide as they aged than mass-reared males. Within the 4 mass-reared strains, Tap-7 released significantly more amounts of (E,E)-α-farnesene and hybrid more of (E,E)-suspensolide. Differences in chemical composition could be explained by the intrinsic characteristics of the strains and the colony management regimes. Characterization of calling behavior and age changes of volatile composition between wild and mass-reared strains could explain the differences in mating competitiveness and may be useful for optimizing the sterile insect technique in A. ludens.