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Photo: Manuel Gutjahr


Hyperspectral Imaging for Sexing of Tephritidae Pupae as a Basis of Ecofriendly Pest Control by Sterile Insect Technique
Coordinating Institute
Leibniz-Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie e.V. (ATB)

One possible alternative to pesticide-based control of economically important fruit fly (Tephritidae) species is the sterile insect technique (SIT), which has been used in various regions, mainly for Ceratitis capitata. SIT is based on mass releases of sterile male insects (subjected to radiation) to control a given pest population. It is important that only males are released because in sterilized females puncture damage may occur. This imposes a mayor hindrance in the application of SIT for several economically important fruit fly species such as Rhagoletis pomonella, Bractocera oleae and Anastrepha fraterculus since it is currently not possible to differentiate males from females of these species in the pupal stage by fast and non-invasive techniques. To overcome this problem we propose hyperspectral imaging to classify the sex in pupae of Tephritidae. Until now, this methodology has not been used for classification of fruit fly pupae. However, successful applications were reported for the discrimination of Trichogramma species growing in moth eggs and for the identification of a wide range of insect species. We aim to acquire hyperspectral images of pupae of different species of Rhagoletis, extract image features and build a statistical classification model to discriminate males and females. Based on variable selection techniques the most important image features will be identified in order to robustify the classification model, reduce the computational burden, and provide specifications for a cost-efficient imaging system. The results from this project will potentially enhance the performance and lowering costs of SIT programs since the approach can be applied to other important species of Tephritidae like A. fraterculus under Brazilian conditions.

Grant agreement number
Funding framework
Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - CAPES, Ministério da Educação - MEC, Brasil


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