Tuesday, 28 October 2003

This presentation is part of : Display Presentations, Section Cd. Behavior and Ecology

Mathematical indices of sterile insect mating competitiveness and what they (really) tell us

David R. Lance, USDA APHIS PPQ OPPL, Building 1398, Otis ANGB, MA

The ability of mass-reared sterile male insects to mate with wild females is critical to the success of sterile insect programs. Several mathematical indices have been used (or proposed) for measuring overall mating competitiveness, mating compatibility (in practice, how readily wild insects accept sterile insects as mates), or mating propensity (an insect’s drive to mate). Monte Carlo simulations, based on field-cage mating tests of tephritid flies, were used to evaluate responses of indices to changes in mating compatibility and propensity. Indices were evaluated based on (1) relation between “true” value and mean and median values produced by Monte Carlo simulations, (2) expected variance profiles, and, most importantly, (3) the ability of index to quantify the intended parameter meaningfully. Some of the indices performed admirably, but others could potentially fail to detect even major lapses in sterile insect performance, leading to questions about their utility in sterile insect quality control programs.

Species 1: Diptera Tephritidae Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly)
Species 2: Diptera Tephritidae Anastrepha ludens
Keywords: Monte Carlo simulation, quality control

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