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Attraction of adult codling moths, Cydia pomonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), to sweet baits has been well documented. However, beneficial effects of sugar feeding on moth fitness have not been demonstrated. Longevity, fecundity, and egg fertility were examined for female/male pairs of moths maintained with the following food regimens: water, sucrose water, honey water, apple juice, apple flesh, or starved, i.e., no food or water provided. Longevity and total fecundity were enhanced in all treatments relative to the starved treatment moths. Sucrose water, honey water, and apple juice treatments yielded the highest longevity, but total fecundity was highest for moths maintained on honey water or apple juice. Total egg fertility did not differ among treatments. However, egg fertility declined more gradually over the female lifespan for the three aqueous solution diets of sucrose water, honey water, and apple juice. Similarly, fecundity per day declined more gradually over time for honey water and apple juice treatments. Performance of moths maintained with apple flesh was generally intermediate between that of moths with water and the three aqueous solution treatments. This suggests that moths benefit from feeding on ripe apple flesh, although apple may be more difficult to ingest or its nutrients less concentrated compared to aqueous solutions. The results presented here may explain attraction of adult moths to sweet baits as well as to odors from ripe fruit, which may be a natural source of food in the fall.
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