Anastrepha ludens (Loew) is one of the most important pests of citrus and mango crops in Mexico. A method used to control this pest is the sterile insect technique, which consists in the mass production, irradiation, and release of insects in affected areas. The production of insects begins with the establishment of colonies to produce eggs, which must be highly fertile to ensure an adequate production of larvae. However, female fecundity and fertility can be affected by adult density and sex ratio, thus an optimal sex ratio in mass-rearing cages must be used. The genetic sexing strain of A. ludens (Tapachula-7) allows the identification of the sex at the pupal stage, making it possible to establish rearing cages with different sex ratios. We determined if different sex ratios have an effect on egg production. Two sex ratios (4: 1 and 1: 1) were compared. Fecundity, fertility and survival at different ages were also determined. Higher fertility and fecundity per female were observed at a ratio of 4:1. However, females with higher fecundity had reduced survival probabilities. In conclusion, maintaining colonies with a lower proportion of males in cages ensures a greater fecundity and fertility. Further research is necessary to understand whether results can be attributed to lower male harassment in cages.
sterile insect technique