Eight transgenic strains of Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) were compared with the wild-type parental laboratory strain (P95) in colony. Measurements of average weight of pupae, percentage of adults emerging from pupae, ratio of males to total emerged adults, and mating competitiveness were analyzed. The parental strain colony was subcultured and exposed to handling procedures equivalent to transgenic strains for valid comparison of overall colony fitness. None of the transgenic colonies exhibited significantly lower fitness characteristics than the control parental colony. One transgenic colony had a higher ratio of adults emerging from pupae, and five colonies had higher average pupal weight; because fitness cost would only be indicated by lower values, the statistical variations were not significant. Males of one transgenic strain were shown to mate with equal frequency compared with males of the parental strain. Hence, the presence of the transgene used to produce the strains tested did not incur a fitness cost to the colonies of laboratory-reared C. hominivorax.
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Vol. 97 • No. 3