At Mediterranean fruit fly rearing centers, genetic sexing strains such as the male-only temperature sensitive lethal (tsl) strains, are replacing many of the older bisexual strains, such as Maui-93. Three tests were performed to compare the performance of the Vienna-4 (which carries tsl) and Maui-93 strains. Using standard laboratory quality control tests, the Maui-93 strain had higher percent fliers and a lower percentage deformed and partially eclosed flies. Analyses of data from field mark-recapture tests with Jackson traps failed to find significant differences in recapture numbers between the two strains. In field cage survivorship tests, the Vienna-4 strain showed significantly lower mortality in comparison to the Maui-93 strain. These results suggest that although the quality of Vienna-4 flies is lower than Maui-93 at the time of adult emergence, it is comparable with or better than Maui-93 several days later, because weaker flies have been eliminated from the cohort. The benefits of releasing only sterile males, instead of both males and females, was not factored into the quality assessment in this study, but would be an additional benefit in using a strain that carries a tsl mutation.
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Vol. 95 • No. 5