Protein: Carbohydrate ratios promoting sexual activity and longevity of male Queensland fruit flies

V. Prabhu, D. Perez-Staples, P. W. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Nutrition is commonly a powerful determinant of sexual performance in insects, and recent studies have found this to be the case in Queensland fruit flies (Tephritidae: Bactrocera tryoni Froggatt; 'Q-flies'); male Q-flies allowed to self-regulate intake of yeast hydrolysate, a rich source of amino acids and vitamins used in most mass-rearing programmes (protein) and sucrose (carbohydrate), had greatly enhanced sexual performance compared with males provided only sucrose. While some yeast hydrolysate is clearly beneficial for the sexual performance of adult male Q-flies, the questions of what proportion of yeast hydrolysate in the diet is sufficient to yield full benefits, or is too much, have not yet been addressed. To address these questions, the present study assessed sexual performance and longevity of adult male Q-flies maintained on diets containing various proportions of yeast hydrolysate and sucrose. Male Q-flies maintained as adults on dry mixtures containing 9%, 17% or 25% yeast hydrolysate had mating probability, mating latency, copula duration and longevity similar to those provided yeast hydrolysate and sucrose in separate dishes and allowed to self-regulate intake. As in previous studies, while longevity was unaffected we found a marked reduction in sexual performance when the flies were completely denied access to yeast hydrolysate, and the few that did mate had relatively short copulations. At the other extreme, flies receiving diets with high levels of yeast hydrolysate (50%, 75%, 83% and 91%) suffered marked reductions both in longevity and in mating performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-582
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Entomology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


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