A study of two significant pest fruit fly species finds that the size of males influences female mating choice in one of the species, but not in the other—important knowledge for fine-tuning management efforts for both species via the sterile insect technique.
Sometimes, less is more. Case in point: the mass-rearing program that produces millions of sterile Mexican fruit flies (Anastrepha ludens) for managing wild populations. Scientists refining the effort find that a lower ratio of males to females in mating cages leads to higher fecundity and fertility in the females—and higher cost-effectiveness for the operation.
Several emerging mosquito-management methods require the transport of mosquitoes to precise locations. There, lab-reared mosquitoes—for instance, sterilized males—mix with wild mosquitoes and hinder the population's ability to reproduce or transmit disease. But, getting mosquitoes from lab to wild presents logistical challenges. A team led by researchers at New Mexico State University are tackling this problem and have made a surprising discovery about just how tightly live mosquitoes can be packed up.
Ever wondered how one might feed 20 million fly larvae every week? Get a glimpse into the work of entomologists who fine-tune the diet for mass-reared screwworm flies at the Panama – United States Commission for the Eradication and Prevention of Screwworm.