Cool storage of Queensland fruit fly pupae for improved management of mass production schedules

Maurizio Benelli*, Fleur Ponton, Urvashi Lallu, Katherine A. Mitchell, Phillip W. Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Cool storage is a valuable means of manipulating insect development time. The Queensland fruit fly (Q-fly) is Australia's most economically significant pest of fruit crops. The present study investigates cool storage of Q-fly pupae for increasing production flexibility for sterile insect technique programs. Development time, survival and fly quality were assessed following continuous storage of 1-day-old pupae at temperatures ranging from 13 to 25 °C. 

RESULTS: Survival was reduced almost to zero by pupal storage at 13 and 15 °C, was greatly reduced by storage at 17 °C, and was modestly reduced by storage at 19 °C. Pupal development time was extended by 16 days at 17 °C and by 9 days at 19 °C. Cool storage negatively affected flight ability and depleted lipid reserves. Cool storage at 19 °C enhanced the ability of 3-day-old adults to recover from chill-coma compared to control flies, indicating cold acclimation. 

CONCLUSION: There is potential for use of cool storage in Q-fly mass rearing, especially to improve alignment between production and field releases. For the purpose of delaying the development time of Q-fly pupae with minimal quality reduction, storage at 23 °C is recommended for 1-day-old pupae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3184-3192
Number of pages9
JournalPest Management Science
Issue number12
Early online date5 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Bactrocera tryoni
  • sterile insect technique
  • mass rearing
  • production flexibility
  • low temperature

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