Supermarket ginger powder increases the mating success of mass-reared males of the Mediterranean fruit fly

Shelly, Todd E.
Edu, James
Pahio, Elaine
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Hawaiian Entomological Society
A series of studies has shown that exposure to the aroma of ginger root oil (Zingiber officinale, GRO hereafter) enhances the mating success of mass-reared, sterile males of the Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly), Ceratitis capitata. The use of GRO to enhance male mating competitiveness appears to represent a simple means to increase the efficacy of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) against this pest. However, the relatively high cost of GRO, along with its restricted commercial availability, may preclude its use in SIT programs with limited budgets and/or no domestic supply of the oil. Consequently, we assessed the effectiveness of supermarket-brand ginger powder, as a potentially less expensive and more widely available substitute for GRO, by comparing the mating success of powder-exposed (treated) and non-exposed (control) sterile males in competition against males from a recently established colony for matings with females from this same colony. In one set of experiments, sterile males were exposed to 2 or 10 g of the ginger powder placed inside storage boxes. In a second set, 1 or 2 g of powder was added to the sugar-agar food block placed on the storage boxes, and the food block was applied on the same day as pupal placement or on the day of peak adult emergence (2 d later). Treated sterile males achieved a significantly greater proportion of total matings than control sterile males at both doses of ginger powder in both sets of experiments, except that ginger powder had no detectable effect (at either dose) when added to food blocks placed on boxes on the same day as pupal placement. The cost of applying GRO to individual storage boxes is compared with that of ginger powder.
Ceratitis capitata, fruit flies, ginger, males, mating competitiveness, mating frequency, sterile insect technique, volatile compounds, Zingiber officinale
Shelly TE, Edu J, Pahio E. 2007. Supermarket ginger powder increases the mating success of mass-reared males of the Mediterranean fruit fly. Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 40:9-14.
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