Radiation Sterilization of Mexican Fruit Fly Anastrepha ludens (Leow) Based on Pupal Eye Color

Sotero S. Resilva1*, Emilio Hernández2, and Glenda B. Obra1

1Agriculture Research Section, Atomic Research Division,
Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Nuclear Research Institute,
Commonwealth Ave., Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
2Subdirección de Desarollo de Métodos, Programa Moscafrut
(SAGARPA-IICA), Camino a los Cacahotales s/n, 30860 Metapa de
Domínguez, Chiapas, Mexico

*Corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




This paper reports on the documented pupal eye color changes of Mexican fruit fly Anastrepha ludens (Leow) at different holding temperatures. In holding mature larval samples at 15, 19, and 26 ºC (standard holding temperature); 28 ºC; and at environmental temperature (24–34 ºC), the development of pupae lasted  49, 33, 16, 15, and 16 d, respectively. Holding pupae at lower temperature delays pupal development and slows down progression of eye color changes. This is very important in manipulating pupal development, especially when uncontrolled problems occur during sterile insect technique (SIT) operations. The recommended timing of pupal irradiation for A. ludens at 26 ºC (standard holding temperature) is 2 d before adult emergence, where the pupae are 12–14 d old and the eye colors are dark brown, very dark brown, and dark grayish green.  Using this eye colors as the reference guide for irradiation of pupae, the right age when held at 15, 19, and 28 ºC and at environmental temperature (24–34 ºC) was 41–45, 28–31, 11–13, and 12–14 d old, respectively.  A table using documented and close-up photograph of pupal eye color can be used as a reference guide to determine the best time for the irradiation of pupae in an SIT program.



Mexican fruit fly Anastrepha ludens (Leow) is the major pest of citrus fruits in commercial orchards situated in higher altitudes of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas (Aluja et al. 1996, Thomas & Loera-Gallardo 1998). It is also one of the most significant pests of commercially grown fruit from the southern United States to northern Argentina (Aluja 1994, Aluja et al. 1996). This pest causes major damage in the field and often cause quarantines preventing the free movement and trade of fresh fruits, which are hosts of this serious pest. Sterile insect technique (SIT) is an environmentally friendly approach of insect control that involves mass rearing, sterilizing by ionizing radiation, and releasing sterile flies in the target area in numbers large enough to outcompete their wild counterparts (Knippling 1955, Dyck et al. 2005). In many cases, this type of insect pest control will lead to eventual eradication of the target pest population (Hendrichs & Robinson 2009). . . . . read more



ALLINGHI A, CALCAGNO G, PETIT-MARTY N, GOMEZ CENDRA P, SEGURA D, VERA T, CLADERA  J, GRAMAJO C, WILLINK C, VILARDI C. 2007. Compatibility and competitiveness of a laboratory strain of Anastepha fraterculus (Diptera: Tephritidae) after irradiation treatment. Florida Entomol. 90: 27–32.
ALUJA M. 1994. Bionomics and management of Anastrepha. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 39: 155 –178.
ALUJA M, CELEDONIO-HURTADO H, LIEDO P, CABRERA M, CASTILLO F, GUILLEN J, RIOS E. 1996. Seasonal population fluctuations and ecological implications for management of Anastrepha fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) in commercial mango     orchards in Southern Mexico. J. Econ. Entomol. 89: 654–667.
ANONYMOUS. 2000.  Munsell® Soil Color Charts (Year 2000 Revised Washable Edition). New Windsor, NY (USA): Gretag Macbeth. 35p.
BARNES B, ROSENBERG S, ARNOLDS L, JOHNSON J. 2007. Production and quality     assurance in the SIT Africa Mediterranean fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) rearing facility    in South Africa. Florida Entomol. 90: 41–52.
DYCK V, HENDRICHS J, ROBINSON A. 2005. The sterile insect technique principles and practice in area-wide integrated pest management. Dordrecht (The     Netherlands): Springer.
[FAO–IAEA–USDA] Food and Agriculture Organization, International Atomic Energy Agency, US Department of Agriculture. 2003. Manual for Product Quality Control and Shipping Procedures for Sterile Mass-reared Tephritid Fruit Flies. Version 5.0. Vienna (Austria): IAEA. 85pp.
FISHER K. 1997. Irradiation effects in air nitrogen on Mediterranean fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) pupae in Western Australia. J. Econ. Entomol. 90(6): 1609–14.
HENDRICHS J, ROBINSON A. 2009. Sterile Insect Technique. In: Resh V, Carde R eds. Encyclopedia of Insects, 2nd Edition. Cambridge, MA (USA): Academic Press. p. 953–957.
HERNÁNDEZ E, OROZCO D, FLORES-BRECEDA S, DOMÍNGUEZ J. 2007. Dispersal and longevity of wild and mass-reared Anastrepha ludens and Anastrepha obliqua (Diptera: Tepritidae). Florida Entomol. 90: 123–135.
HERNÁNDEZ E, RIVERA J, ARTIAGA-LÓPEZ T. 2014. Generic larval diet for mass-rearing    three species of Anastrepha (Diptera: Tephritidae). International Journal of Tropical Insect Science 34: S13–S18.
KNIPPLING E. 1955. Possibilities of insect control or eradication through the use of sexual sterile males. J. Econ. Entomol. 48: 459–462.
OHINATA K, CHAMBERS D, FUJIMOTO M, KASHIWAI S, MIYABARA. 1971. Sterilization     of the Mediterranean fruit fly by irradiation: Comparative mating effectiveness of     treated pupae and adults. J. Econ. Entomol. 64: 781–785.
OROZCO-DÁVILA D, QUINTERO L, HERNÁNDEZ E, SOLÍS E, ARTIAGA T, HERNÁNDEZ R, ORTEGA C, MONTOYA P. 2016.  Mass rearing and sterile insect releases for the control of Anastrepha spp. pests in Mexico – A review. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, p. 1–12.
OROZCO-DÁVILA D, HERNÁNDEZ R, MEZA S, DOMÍNGUEZ J. 2007. Sexual competitiveness and compatibility between mass-reared sterile flies and wild populations of Anastrepha ludens (Diptera: Tephritidae) from different regions of Mexico. Florida Entomol. 90: 19–26.
RESILVA S, PEREIRA R. 2014. Age-and temperature-related pupal eye color changes in various tephritid fruit fly species with a view to optimizing irradiation timing. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science 34: S59–S65.
RESILVA S, OBRA G. 2016. Pupal eye color of Bactrocera philippinensis (Drew & Hancock) as a tool for radiation sterilization. Philipp. J Sci. 145(2): 139–151.
RESILVA S, OBRA G, ZAMORA N, GAITAN E. 2007. Development of quality control procedures for mass produced and released Bactrocera philippinensis (Diptera: Tephritidae) for sterile insect technique program. Florida Entomol. 90: 58–63.
 RUHM M, CALKINS C. 1981. Eye-color changes in Ceratitis capitata, a technique to determine pupal development. Entomol. Exp.& Appl. 29: 237–240.
 SEO S, WILLIAMSON D, FUJIMOTO M. 1987. Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae): Colorimetric method to estimate age and rate of development of pupae for the sterile  insect technique. J. Econ.  Entomol. 80(5): 1087–90.
STEVENS L. 1991.  Manual of standard operating procedures (SOP) for the mass-rearing and sterilization of the Mexican Fruit Fly Anastrepha ludens (Leow). Mission, TX (USA): USDA–APHIS. 39p.
SUTANTAWONG M, ORANKANOK W, ENKERLIN W. 2002. The sterile insect technique for the control of the Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) in mango orchards of Ratchaburi, Province, Thailand. Proceedings of the 6th International Fruit fly Symposium; Stellenbosch, South Africa. p. 223–232.
THOMAS D, LOERA–GALLARDO. 1998. Dispersal and longevity of mass-released,     sterilized Mexican fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae). Environ. Entomol. 27: 1045–52.
TERUYA T, YUKEYAMA H. 1979. Sterilization of melon fly, Dacus cucurbitae Coquillett, with gamma radiation: Effect of dose on competitiveness of irradiated male. Appl. Ent. Zool. 14(3): 241–244.
TERUYA T, ISOBE K. 1982. Sterilization of melon fly, Dacus cucurbitae Coquillett, with gamma radiation: Mating behavior and fertility of females alternately mated with normal and irradiated males. Appl. Ent. Zool. 17(1): 111–118.
WILLIAMSON D, MITCHELL S, SEO S. 1985. Gamma irradiation of the Mediterranean fruit     fly (Diptera: Tephritidae): Effects of puparial age and induced hypoxia on female sterility. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 78: 101–106.