Chilling, irradiation and transport of male Glossina palpalis gambiensis pupae: Effect on the emergence, flight ability and survival

Background

The sterile insect technique (SIT) requires mass-rearing of the target species, irradiation to induce sexual sterility and transportation from the mass-rearing facility to the target site. Those treatments require several steps that may affect the biological quality of sterile males. This study has been carried out to evaluate the relative impact of chilling, irradiation and transport on emergence rate, flight ability and survival of sterile male Glossina palpalis gambiensis.

Results

Chilling, irradiation and transport all affected the quality control parameters studied. The emergence rate was significantly reduced by long chilling periods and transport, i.e. from 92% at the source insectary in Burkina Faso to 78% upon arrival in Senegal. Flight ability was affected by all three parameters with 31% operational flies lost between the production facility and the destination site. Only survival under stress was not affected by any of the treatments.

Conclusion

The chilling period and transport were the main factors that impacted significantly the quality of sterile male pupae. Therefore, in the operational programme, the delivery of sterile male pupae was divided over two shipments per week to reduce the chilling time and improve the quality of the sterile males. Quality of the male pupae may further be improved by reducing the transport time and vibrations during transport.