The effects of gamma radiation on the fecundity, fertility, longevity, development and level of inherited sterility in the Mediterranean flour moth Ephestia kuehniella were determined. Newly emerged virgin Mediterranean flour moth adults were irradiated with 100, 200, 400 and 600 Gy in a Co-60 irradiator with a source strength of ca. 3811 Ci and a dose rate of ca. 1 Gy/min. Laboratory studies revealed that radiation did not effect the longevity of irradiated male and female adults. Inherited deleterious effects of gamma radiation were observed in the F-1 and F-2 generations. Fecundity and the daily egg laying pattern of irradiated and unirradiated females mated to irradiated males was not significantly different from untreated controls. Adverse effects of gamma radiation were observed in the percentage egg hatch and rate of development. Levels of sterility in the P-1, F-1 and F-2 generations were higher than that of untreated controls. The doses of radiation also had a significant effect on the time from oviposition to larval eclosion or adult emergence. Mortality increased with radiation dose. The incidence of larval and pupal mortality was higher in the F-2 than in the F-1 generation. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.