Electrophysiological responses to Cuelure of raspberry ketone-fed Queensland fruit flies

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The sterile insect technique (SIT) and male annihilation technique (MAT) are important tools for the control of Queensland fruit fly (Q-fly), Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt) (Diptera: Tephritidae), a major insect pest of horticultural crops in Australia. In MAT, mature Q-fly males are attracted to a toxic bait using Cuelure, a synthetic analog of raspberry ketone (RK). Substantial improvements in control could be achieved by simultaneous use of SIT and MAT, but this requires suppression of the Cuelure response in released sterile flies. Recent studies report that prerelease feeding with RK during the first 48 h after emergence can reduce the response of mature Q-fly males to Cuelure, but the mechanism underpinning this is unknown. Here, to test whether reduced sensory sensitivity to Cuelure is involved, we evaluated the effects of RK supplements, adult diet (yeast-supplemented diet throughout adult stage vs yeast-supplemented diet only for 48 h), and age on electroantennogram (EAG) and electropalpogram (EPG) responses of Q-flies to Cuelure stimuli. EAG responses did not vary with RK supplements, sex, or age of Q-flies fed yeast-supplemented diet throughout the adult stage, but the responses of Q-flies fed other diet regime decreased with age. EPG responses of both sexes of Q-flies were affected by RK supplements, age, and their interaction, but without patterns that might indicate reduced maxillary palp response of RK supplemented flies to Cuelure. Our findings do not support the hypothesis that reduced Cuelure response of male Q-flies fed RK supplements is explained by reduced electrophysiological response in antennae or maxillary palps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2832–2839
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of economic entomology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • antennal response
  • male annihilation technique
  • palp response
  • sterile insect technique


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  • ITTC for Fruit Fly Biosecurity Innovation (ARC)

    Taylor, P., Clarke, A., Riegler, M., Kemp, D., Ponton, F., Cameron, S., Schutze, M., Cook, J., Papanicolaou, A., Dominiak, B., Jessup, A., Reynolds, O., Suckling, M., El Sayad, A., Mas, F., Royer, J., Schellhorn, N., Macfadyen, S., Wilson, C., MQRES Inter Tuition Fee only 2, M. I. T. F. O. 2. & MQRES Inter Tuition Fee only, M. I. T. F. O.

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