The effect of methyl eugenol exposure on subsequent mating performance of sterile males of Bactrocera dorsalis


Qinge Ji (corresponding author), Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China. E-mail:


Methyl eugenol (ME) is ingested and used by several fruit fly species of the genus Bactrocera as a precursor of the sexual pheromone produced by adult males. This can result in an increase in male sexual activity and performance, which is important to the development of an effective sterile insect technique programme in China. The effect of ME on mating competitiveness, multiple mating, and the incidence of female remating were studied in sterile males from a genetic sexing strain of Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) irradiated with 100 Gy of 137Cs. The results obtained in field cages showed that feeding on ME did not increase the frequency of multiple mating by sterile males, but significantly increased the mating competitiveness of sterile males against that of semi-wild males. At the same time, sterile males fed ME did not significantly affect the remating of semi-wild females 5 days after the initial mating with a semi-wild male, but the ME-fed males increased the remating frequency of females 10 and 15 days after the initial mating.