Caffeine as a promotor of sexual development in sterile Queensland fruit fly males

Saleh Mohammad Adnan*, Iffat Farhana, Soo Jean Park, Polychronis Rempoulakis, Phillip W. Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Sterile insect technique (SIT) is an environmentally benign pest management technique that involves releasing millions of sterile insects to suppress reproduction of pest populations. Many fruit flies, including Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni Froggatt, ‘Q-fly’), have long adult maturation periods such that pre-maturation mortality can greatly reduce abundance of sexually active sterile males and impede SIT efficacy. Q-fly is the most difficult and costly challenge to market access for Australia’s horticulture industries, and has been targeted for intensive use of SIT program. We here demonstrate potential of pre-release caffeine supplements as a novel means to accelerate sexual maturation in male Q-fly. In mating trials, analytical caffeine was very effective at accelerating sexual maturation, while no positive effects of caffeine-containing instant coffee or guarana supplements were detected. In parallel, development of testes and ejaculatory apodemes was accelerated in males provided analytical caffeine but not instant coffee or guarana. High doses of guarana and instant coffee reduced longevity while even the highest doses of analytical caffeine did not affect longevity. Pre-release caffeine supplements promote sexual maturation in Q-flies, and similar benefits are expected in other fruit flies having long adult maturation periods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14743
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2020

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Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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