The sterile insect technique (SIT) is widely used for suppressing or eradicating target pest insect populations. In the eradication programs using the SIT, a large number of sterile insects are marked and released in the field. In Japan, Cylas formicarius (F.) group (Coleoptera: Brentidae) weevils are marked with a fluorescent powder dye to monitor the progress of such programs. However, this monitoring technique is not fully effective because of the disappearance or contamination of the dye. Therefore, an alternative marking method is required. Currently, a rare color morph such as piceous elytra (PE) is used for visible marking of C. formicarius group weevils. A PE-monomorphic strain has previously been established by artificial selection from a small locally distributed population; this can lead to reduced survival and genetic changes in behavioral traits due to inbreeding depression. In this study, we evaluated the survival rate and mating behavior of PE males of C. formicarius group. The characteristics of the PE males were similar to those of the wild strain (WS) males. Thus, we considered that PE males were suitable for visible marking in the eradication programs using the SIT.
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Vol. 104 • No. 2