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Data from: Less is more: Fewer attract-and-kill sites improve the male annihilation technique against Bactrocera dorsalis

posted on 2024-02-15, 17:36 authored by Thomas Fezza, Todd E. Shelly, Abbie Fox, Kyle Beucke, Eric Rohrig, Charlotte Aldebron, Nicholas ManoukisNicholas Manoukis

The Male Annihilation Technique (also termed the Male Attraction Technique; “MAT”) is often used to eradicate pestiferous tephritid fruit flies, such as Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel). MAT involves the application of male-specific attractants combined with an insecticide in spots or stations across an area to reduce the male population to such a low level that suppression or eradication is achieved. Currently, implementations of MAT in California and Florida targeting B. dorsalis utilize the male attractant methyl eugenol (ME) accompanied with a toxicant, such as spinosad, mixed into a waxy, inert emulsion STATIC ME (termed here “SPLAT-MAT-ME”). While highly effective against ME-responding species, such applications are expensive owing largely to the high cost of the carrier matrix and labor for application. Until recently the accepted protocol called for the application of approximately 230 SPLAT-MAT-ME spots per km2; however, findings from Hawaii suggest a lower density may actually be more effective. The present study adopted the methods of that earlier work and estimated kill rates of released B. dorsalis under varying spot densities in areas of California and Florida that have had recent incursions of this invasive species. Specifically, we directly compared trap captures of sterilized marked B. dorsalis males released in different plots under three experimental SPLAT-MAT-ME densities (50, 110, and 230 per km2) in Huntington Beach, CA; Anaheim, CA; and Sarasota-Bradenton, FL. The plots with a density of 110 sites per km2 had a significantly higher recapture proportion than plots with 50 or 230 sites per km2. This result suggests that large amounts of male attractant may reduce the ability of males to locate the source of the odor, thus lowering kill rates and the effectiveness of eradication efforts. Eradication programs would directly benefit from reduced costs and improved eradication effectiveness by reducing the application density of SPLAT-MAT-ME.

Resources in this dataset:

  • Resource Title: Longitudes and latitudes of experimental plots and release transects File Name: 2023-09_plots-transects-geodata.csv Resource Description: Areas where release recapture experiments were conducted.

  • Resource Title: Longitudes and latitudes of traps used in experiments (LPDs) File Name: 2023-10_traps-locations.xlsx

  • Resource Title: Number of flies caught in each trap at each check File Name: 2023-10_trap-catch.xlsx

  • Resource Title: Locations of traps, release transects, plots File Name: 2023-10_MAT-CA-FL.kml

  • Resource Title: Numbers of flies left in containers after release File Name: 2023-10_remaining-in-release-containers.xlsx

  • Resource Title: Quality Control data for each cohort used in releases File Name: 2023-10_quality-control.xlsx

  • Resource Title: Metadata File Name: metadata.txt


USDA-ARS: 2040-22430-027-00D

California Department of Food and Agriculture: 18-0354


Data contact name

Manoukis, Nicholas

Data contact email


Ag Data Commons

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


Geographic location - description

California, Florida

ISO Topic Category

  • biota
  • environment
  • farming

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

males; Bactrocera dorsalis; fruit flies; attractants; spinosad; emulsions; labor; invasive species; odors; California; Florida

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

ARS National Program Number

  • 304

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Fezza, Thomas; Shelly, Todd E.; Fox, Abbie; Beucke, Kyle; Rohrig, Eric; Aldebron, Charlotte; Manoukis, Nicholas (2023). Data from: Less is more: Fewer attract-and-kill sites improve the male annihilation technique against Bactrocera dorsalis. Ag Data Commons.