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Impact of adult diet on demographic and population parameters of the tropical fruit fly Anastrepha serpentina (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

I. Jácome
Instituto de Ecología, A.C., Apartado Postal 63, 91000 Xalapa, Veracruz, México
M. Aluja*
Instituto de Ecología, A.C., Apartado Postal 63, 91000 Xalapa, Veracruz, México
P. Liedo
El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR), Apartado Postal 36, 30700 Tapachula, Chiapas, México
* Fax: +52 28 121897 E-mail:


The effect of artificial and natural sources of adult food on the survival and reproduction of the tropical fruit fly, Anastrephaserpentina (Wiedemann) was studied. Caged adult flies were exposed during their whole lifespan to water and one of the following diets: sucrose, intact fruit, open fruit, bird faeces, sucrose plus intact fruit, sucrose plus open fruit, sucrose plus yeast hydrolysate, and sucrose plus bird faeces. All flies exposed to intact fruit or bird faeces died within the first five days of adult life without laying eggs. Females exposed to open fruit exhibited the greatest mean longevity (56.7 days). The highest net fecundity rate was recorded from individuals exposed to sucrose plus yeast hydrolysate (164 eggs per female), followed by those exposed to bird faeces plus sucrose and open fruit (38 and 26 eggs per female, respectively). Some individuals were able to lay viable eggs late in life (>105 days of age). Only populations in which adult flies had access to either sucrose plus yeast hydrolysate, open fruit, or sucrose plus bird faeces exhibited positive intrinsic rates of increase (r). Flies offered a combination of dry sucrose plus open fruit exhibited greatly reduced net fecundity levels when compared with those individuals exposed to open fruit. Even more significantly, populations of flies offered the combination of open fruit plus sucrose exhibited negative rates of increase while those exposed to open fruit alone, grew. We postulate that this reduction in egg production can be explained by a ‘junk food syndrome’.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1999

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