Age effects on female sexual receptivity in the Mexican fruit fly (#568)
Certain species within the Tephritidae family (Diptera) are considered pests of economic importance, infesting a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. One means of controlling these pests is through the use of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). The SIT is an environmentally friendly method of control where insects are mass-reared, irradiated and released into affected areas. Sterile males then mate with wild females, thus rendering them infertile. SIT relies on detailed knowledge of the biology of the target insect, and in particular the mating behaviour. Here we present results on how aging impacts Anastrepha ludens female and male mating performance, sperm viability, amount of protein in the male accessory glands and female receptivity. Age effects differ between mass-reared and wild individuals. Female sexual receptivity depends more on female than male age. Overall, our results suggest that detailed species-specific behavioural assays are critical in ensuring the continuing success of SIT programs worldwide.